Proposition: Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me. This is extremely false. Words have done more damage than the biggest stick or hardest stone. Marriages have dissolved and families have been destroyed by words. Companies have failed and Churches have split because of words. We must do everything we can to prevent destruction that is caused by our speech.
Introduction: I remember when my grand mother cooked beef tongue. I thought that it would be like a stew or soup. I was expecting potatoes and carrots, but to my surprise there was this huge slimy tongue in the pot. I was afraid of that tongue, but I learned from the book of James that our tongues are more dangerous.
James uses the tongue to represent the words that come out of our mouth. James is not warning us about he sliver of flesh in our mouth, but he is warning us about how we communicate.
The poison of our tongue is not delivered the same way snake poison is delivered. We need not bite our victims to strike with a venomous rant.
A. What we say
B. How we say it
C. Who we say it to
A. Fire. James compares the tongue to fire.
B. World of iniquity. (Systematic order of evil actions)
A. Crucial location of the tongue
B. Devastation To our life
C. Devastation to our legacy (course of nature)
Conclusion: Fire Safety. Fires need three things to be sustained. They need a spark or source of ignition. Fires also need a fuel source, and oxygen is also needed. With out all these there things fires cannot be started or sustained.
Fire safety can be achieved by fire prevention and fire extinguishing. We should do our best to prevent most of the emotional fires set off by our tongues. When fires are set ablaze by what we say, we need to learn how to put them out as soon as possible.
When the fire department performs an inspection they are looking for potential sources of ignition. If they can remove obvious sources of sparks or heat from fuel sources then most fires will be prevented.
We need to take a close look at our selves. If we can identify what “sets us off” then we can pray for help to deal with these situations. Learning how to deal with and, if possible, avoid triggers can be beneficial in avoiding blow ups.
Our text tells us that hell itself is the source of the heat or spark to set off our mouths.
If the source of fuel can be cut off then a fire will not start, and if it is stated then it will burn out on its own. If we can learn to not provide fuel for fires then we can prevent fires. If we can learn to not add fuels to fires already burning then we can help fires burn out on their own.
Galatians tells us that if we walk in the spirit then we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. If we don't commune with God and his people on a regular basis then we begin to increase our fleshes fuel. We say things that are destructive. We do things that are destructive. Don't forsake the assembling together with God's people. Read the Bible, pray on regular basis, and spend time with Jesus. This can keep the source of bad fuel low.
Extinguish fires by cutting of the source of oxygen. If a fire cant breathe then it cant stay lit. fire extinguishers smother fires.
Lies can't survive in the face of the truth. Learn Gods truth.
It take two to argue, so one can only bicker and complain by himself. Don't participate in others fires, and hopefully they will smother and go out.