According to statisticians the average person spends at least 1/5 of his or her life talking. Ordinaril, in a single day enough words are used to fill a 50-oasge book. In one year's time the average person's words would till 132 books, adch containing 400 pages.
James begins a new subject in chapter 3 but you can still see his flow of thought. He has just explained how living faith will be evident in the works that we do. Now he turns his attention to our tongue which is the most important member of our body for controlling our behavior. What we say is a powerful indication of who we are.
- The Object of the Warning - Teachers. Whether Pastors, Sunday School teachers, Ladies teachers, etc. Teachers primarily use words in what they do. The job of teachers in the church is to pass on the absolute truth of God and it must be done with undistorted, unprejudiced communication. This is God's holy Word which represents God's holy character that we are talking about! That is why their are such strict requirements especially for elders. Look at 1Timothy 3:1-7. Teachers have an awesome responsiblility so James warns that we should be very selective about who fills the role of teacher. Imagine the devestation a careless teacher could cause by: teaching the wrong truth (eg. Jesus didn't really die on the cross or raise from the dead), or teaching in a confusing way so that your not sure what what he was really saying, or to teach it in an inflamitory way that dicredits the truth (eg. using curse words or inapropriate humor to convey a message).
- The Reason for the Warning - Because of the awesome responsiblity it is to be a teacher of God's Word there will be a greater judgment for them. The greater the influence, the greater the accountablility. Remember Moses? He made one mistake. He hit a rock instead of talking to it and God kept him from entering the promised land. Why because Moses spoke for God to the people of Israel and If He could disobey God's instructions without God's discipline then why couldn't they? In the same way teachers will be more responsible before the judgment seat of Christ because of the position that they hold.
- Application - Parents, you have greater responsiblility as teachers in your home. What you say is very instructive to your kids and you will be more responsible before God than they will. Aslo it needs to be pointed out that along with greater judgement against those who abuse their teaching position is also a greater blessing and reward for those who do well. 1pet 5 4 speaks of an unfading crown of glory for the undershepherds of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Measure of Maturity