March 3, 2024

Watch Your Mouth

Pastor: Shannon Ford Series: Living Aligned with God's Design Scripture: James 3:1–18

Living Aligned With God’s Design 
Watch Your Mouth 
James 3:1-18

“… let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” (James 1:19, ESV)

“I have never been hurt by anything I didn’t say.” - Calvin Coolidge

Tongue Tales:

  • Most people use their tongue as a weapon of destruction. In fact, every one of us is carrying around a concealed weapon. All we must do is open our mouths and it is unconcealed.
  • “The tongue’s potential for evil is so great that God saw fit to imprison it behind a double jailer: the teeth and the lips.” - Danny Akin
  • The weight for a male tongue is about 70 grams, for a female, 60 grams. It is one of the smaller organs of the body. However, pound for pound the tongue is the strongest muscle in the body.
  • The tongue, though very small, is also very powerful and influential and should be handled with care.” 
  • No human can tame the tongue. That’s the work of God alone. 

Four Types of Tongues:

  1. The Crucial Tongue (3:1)

Teachers must be…

  • Careful with their mouths 
  • Mindful of their motives 
  • Watchful of their conduct 

“… I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give an account for every careless word they speak.” (Matthew 12:36, ESV)

  1. The Controlled Tongue (3:2-4)
  • A bit will direct the action of a horse. (v. 3)
  • A small rudder will determine the direction of a ship. (v. 4) 

“When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” (Proverbs 10:19, NIV, 1984) 

  1. The Careless Tongue (3:5-8)
  • The tongue damages (v. 5a)
  • The tongue destroys (vv. 5b-6)
  • The tongue is dangerous (vv. 7-8) 

“Your tongue plots destruction, like a sharp razor.” (Psalms 52:2, ESV) 

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21, ESV) 

  1. The Confused Tongue (3:9-12)
  • The inconsistent tongue (vv. 9-10)
  • The incompatible tongue (vv. 11-12)  

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29, ESV)

If God is to control the tongue, He must rule the heart.

What is the solution when we have a heart problem?

  • Get a new heart.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God.” (Psalm 51:10, ESV)

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV)

  • Ask God for help every day.

“Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3, ESV)

  • Fill your mind with the Word of God.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8, ESV)

  • Think before you speak.

T  - Is it true? 
H - Is it helpful? 
I -  Is it inspiring? 
N - Is it necessary? 
K - Is it kind?

“The power of speech is one of the greatest powers God has given us. With the tongue, man can praise God, pray, preach the Word and lead the lost to Christ. What a privilege! But with that same tongue he can tell lies that could ruin a man’s reputation or break a person’s heart. The ability to speak words is the ability to influence others and accomplish tremendous tasks, and yet we take this ability for granted.”  - Waren Wiersbe

“Lord, I give You my tongue because I cannot control it any longer. I’ve tried, and I’ve failed. I give You my weakness and ask for Your strength. Starting tomorrow, and for the rest of my life, bring to my attention each time I am about to say something that you don’t want me to say. Lord, as I exchange my weakness for Your strength, please control my tongue. Amen” - Chuck Swindoll

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other sermons in this series