Daily Bible Reading – 10.12.2021
James 3:1-12, Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 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. When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 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. 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. 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. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
Those of us who are called and tasked with teaching others need to be careful with what we say for we speak on behalf of God. We will be judged according to how we have handled His Word. This verse causes me to shudder!
James goes on to speak of the power of the tongue. If we are able to control what we say, we have become perfect! As small as the tongue is, it is a powerful tool for good or evil. It is like the small rudder that controls the direction of a large ship. It is like a small spark that sets a massive forest on fire. Unlike many kinds of animals that can be tamed, no one has determined how to tame the tongue.
What troubles James the most is that one moment we can praise God, and, in the next moment, we curse one another who have been made in God’s very image. As believers filled with the Spirit of God, this should not be. This cannot be. Nature gives us many examples where it is impossible to produce something different. Salt water cannot produce fresh water. Olives, figs, and grapes cannot come from the same vine or tree. It makes no sense that redeemed human beings would condemn others with their speech.
Questions to Consider:
Why do Christians produce such a wide variety of content with their mouths? When do you tend to speak what is positive? When do you tend to speak what is negative?
Weekly Memory Verse:
James 4:15, Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”