Day: October 24, 2022

Taming the Tongue (James 3:5-8)

1.0 The Tongue

To be successful in the “cleansing,” and continued to be “cleansed,” we need to learn to “shut” our ears to “the evil-report” and learn to control (tame) our tongue:

1.1 Guards our Mouth

Proverbs 13:3 “He who guard his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.” – The person who speaks too much, “sin” is present (Proverbs 10:19), and he is “a fool” (unwise) person (Ecclesiastes 5:3b).

  • Proverbs 10:19 “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.”
  • Ecclesiastes 5:3b “A fool’s voice is known by his many words.”

1.2 Not to be Hasty

The person who is quick to shoot from his mouth is worse than the fool – Proverbs 29:20 “Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” The person who speaks a lot about himself reveals personal pride – Proverbs 26:12 “Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him.”

1.3 A Good Listerner

Proverbs 18:13 “He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.” The person who is too quick to answer, usually have perceived opinion, and thus, he failed to discern correctly. 

1.4 Careful in Words

Matthew 12:36 “…..Every idle (careless – NIV) word that men shall speak; they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement.”

  • The word “idle” (Gk: “rema argos”) means “careless, or inactive word.”  In the context, Jesus is contrasting “good things” within a good person with the “evil things” in the heart of an evil person.
  • Jesus teaches us to make the best use of our words, because words express what is in our heart: “The mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Matthew 12:34). The mouth is the “over-flow” valve of the heart.

1.5 Wholesome Word

Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”

  • Corrupt Word – Word with the tendency to injure the name, fame or interest of another.
  • Good Word brings Edification – Word that builds and strengthens.
  • Impart Grace – Grace should be the foundation of our speech – Colossians 4:6a “Speech with grace, seasoned with salt.”

1.6 Good Timing

Proverbs 15:23 “A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!” – The timing of one’s remark – given at the right time, with a brief word brings joy and encouragement to the weary.

  • Proverbs 25:11 “A word fitly spoken is like apples in setting of silver.”
  • Isaiah 50:4 “The Lord God has given Me (Christ) the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He (God) awakens My ear to hear as the learned.”

1.7 Power of the Tongue

Proverbs 21:23 “Whosoever guards his mouth, and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.” – Guard his mouth and tongue means: “When to speak; when to be silent.” 

  • Proverbs 12:13 “The wicked (fool) is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous (wise) will come through trouble.”
  • Proverbs 13:3“He who guard his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.”
  • Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

1.8 Controlled Emotion

Proverbs 15: 1, 4 “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger….A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” Perverseness = lies.

  • It takes 2 persons to have an argument – angry words bring angry words in return. The first thing we know, there are problems difficult to settle, because everyone has said too much.
  • The best way is to stay calm and talk quietly. Words destroyed, or words healed. The wholesome tongue speaks forth HOPE. It speaks life and not death – Proverbs 25:15 “By long forbearance a ruler is persuaded, and a gentle tongue breaks a bone.”

1.9 Hold our Peace

Proverbs 17:28 “Even a fool, when he holds his peace, is counted wise; and he that shuts his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.”

  • The person has so much command of himself as not to speak unadvisedly, even when provoked.
  • The person who keeps silent does not betray his folly by his words; he is considered as a man of wisdom and understanding.

1.10 Avoid Double Tongue

Proverbs 18:8 “The words of a Talebearer (lit: “Whisperer”) are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.”

  • The Talebearer (Whisperer) means “Busybody person who is meddling = double-tongued” (Vulgate).
  • The words of the Deceiver (Talebearer = Whisperer), the fair-spoken, deeply-malicious person; though he appears soft and gracious, are wounds deeply injurious. – Proverbs 26:22 “The words of the Talebearer (lit: “Whisperer”) are like wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts.”

1.11 Life-Giver

1Peter 3:10 “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.” (Psalm 34:12-13) – 1Peter 3:10 is quoted from Psalm 34:12-13 – Psalm 34 deals with one of the darkest days of David’s life. –  For the person who loves life and desires to see good days:

  • David refuses to allow himself to speak evil or deceitful words to the person who goes against him.
  • David refrains from evil speaking, lying and slandering, even when he is hurt.
  • David avoids flattery with hypocritical or wicked intentions.

1.12 Wisdom – Controlled Tongue

James 1:26 “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridles not his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.”

  • The “bridles of the tongue” means “to discipline it, restrain it, curb it, keep it under control.” The tongue is “a powerful” instrument for good or evil.
  • The tongue is reckoned to be like a wild horse, that needs to be “bridled.” – A religious person must rein in his tongue; if not his religion is vain (Gk: “mataios” – means “fruitless”).
  • “Seem to be religious” means “given to religious observance and activities, or public worship.  
  • The sign of a genuine religious person is the bridled tongue; if not he “deceives his own heart.” The Psalmist prayed: “Set a watch, o Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lip” (Psalm 141:3).