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Actively Choosing Our Words

James: Active Faith  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Actively Choosing Our Words

Have you ever said something that no sooner did the words leave your mouth did you know you had gone too far, said too much, or cut too deep?
We aren’t always known for our best words

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.

3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Have you ever said something that no sooner did the words leave your mouth did you know you had gone too far, said too much, or cut too deep?

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.

Teachers are judged more strictly for the path upon which they set others
This was a time where biblical scholarship was proprietary. Where there was some religious elite.
Now the bible is in all of our hands, in all of our homes, on all of our phones and even watches
Which begs the question, who amongst us will be a teacher?
Will parents not be teachers to their children?
Can each of us not be teachers to our friends and family?
Will all Christians not be teachers to those outside the faith?
This caution I believe, is caution to us all.

3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

If you are now regretting your last few outbursts, know we all stumble in many ways.
Take comfort in knowing none are perfect
Bits are to Horses
Rudders are to Ships
Tongues are to mankind
This doesn’t just mean there is great power in a little thing, but that each of those little things can determine your destination.
This will be a struggle over our whole life, a struggle that does get easier over time, and easier still in times of stress.
If taken with the right heart, this “struggle” will become a discipline.

9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

1 Surely God is good to Israel,

to those who are pure in heart.

2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;

I had nearly lost my foothold.

3 For I envied the arrogant

when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

4 They have no struggles;

their bodies are healthy and strong.

5 They are free from common human burdens;

they are not plagued by human ills.

6 Therefore pride is their necklace;

they clothe themselves with violence.

7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity;

their evil imaginations have no limits.

8 They scoff, and speak with malice;

with arrogance they threaten oppression.

9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven,

and their tongues take possession of the earth.

10 Therefore their people turn to them

and drink up waters in abundance.

11 They say, “How would God know?

Does the Most High know anything?”

12 This is what the wicked are like

Good and Evil should not come from the same source
1 Surely God is good to Israel,
1 Surely God is good to Israel,
1 Surely God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
to those who are pure in heart.
to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
I had nearly lost my foothold.
I had nearly lost my foothold.
I had nearly lost my foothold.
3 For I envied the arrogant
3 For I envied the arrogant
3 For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 They have no struggles;
4 They have no struggles;
4 They have no struggles;
their bodies are healthy and strong.
their bodies are healthy and strong.
their bodies are healthy and strong.
5 They are free from common human burdens;
5 They are free from common human burdens;
5 They are free from common human burdens;
they are not plagued by human ills.
they are not plagued by human ills.
they are not plagued by human ills.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace;
6 Therefore pride is their necklace;
6 Therefore pride is their necklace;
they clothe themselves with violence.
they clothe themselves with violence.
they clothe themselves with violence.
7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity;
7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity;
7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity;
their evil imaginations have no limits.
their evil imaginations have no limits.
their evil imaginations have no limits.
8 They scoff, and speak with malice;
8 They scoff, and speak with malice;
8 They scoff, and speak with malice;
with arrogance they threaten oppression.
with arrogance they threaten oppression.
with arrogance they threaten oppression.
9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven,
9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven,
9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven,
and their tongues take possession of the earth.
and their tongues take possession of the earth.
and their tongues take possession of the earth.
10 Therefore their people turn to them
10 Therefore their people turn to them
10 Therefore their people turn to them
and drink up waters in abundance.
and drink up waters in abundance.
and drink up waters in abundance.
11 They say, “How would God know?
11 They say, “How would God know?
11 They say, “How would God know?
Does the Most High know anything?”
Does the Most High know anything?”
Does the Most High know anything?”
12 This is what the wicked are like
The New International Version. (2011). (). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
The New International Version. (2011). (Ps 73:1–11). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
The New International Version. (2011). (). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
SO WHAT?
So what do you know about Sumo?
Bigger doesn’t always win
Technique will win
Technique is a fancy word for skill and discipline
The biggest insult, the biggest attitude, they rarely rule the day.
Your technique will win. Your poise, your ability to keep your cool, value the person through their failures and short comings.
SO WHAT?
We serve a God who always seeks a third way.
What are you listening to? What are you watching?
What you are saying...

18 Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips

and spreads slander is a fool.

19 Sin is not ended by multiplying words,

but the prudent hold their tongues.

20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver,

but the heart of the wicked is of little value.

21 The lips of the righteous nourish many,

but fools die for lack of sense.

What are you saying, and what are you not saying?
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