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Taming The Tongue 

James 3:3-10
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 person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8 but no man 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 men, who have been made in God's likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.

Control of the tongue is an important focus of discipleship.

The Tongue is Very Small but Very Powerful!
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.

The tongue directs a person's life.

The Tongue is Very Small but Very Dangerous!
5b. 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 person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

The Tongue is Very Small but Very Revealing.
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.

Matthew 12:33-37
33 "Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37  For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."

Bruce Barton: "For good or ill, your conversation is your advertisement. Every time you open your mouth you let men look into your mind."

Slander, lies, cursing, gossip

BE QUICK TO LISTEN, SLOW TO SPEAK
James 1:19-20
19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

"I have never been hurt by anything I did not say" (Calvin Coolidge).

Proverbs 10:19
When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.

KEEP A TIGHT REIN ON YOUR TONGUE
James 1:26
26 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

Proverbs 21:23
He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.

REFUSE TO TEAR OTHER PEOPLE DOWN
James 4:11-12
11 Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you-- who are you to judge your neighbor?

James 5:9
9 Don't grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

General Robt. E. Lee was once asked what he thought of a fellow officer in the Confederate Army--an officer who had made some mean-spirited remarks about him. Lee thought for a moment, then rated him as being very satisfactory. The person who asked the question seemed troubled. "But general, I guess you don't know what he's been saying about you." "Oh yes," answered Lee. "I know. But I was asked my opinion of him, not his opinion of me."

Someone has observed, "The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail more than his tongue."

SPEAK ONLY WHAT IS TRUE

PRAY FOR GOD'S HELP IN TAMING THE TONGUE

"No man can tame the tongue!"

We need God's help!


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