Watch Your Mouth!
James 3:1-2 says “1My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. 2For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.”
Chapter 3 deals a lot with the tongue and the dangers of it. From what we have seen already in James already we see that what Christians say is a very important aspect of their faith. As we will see in lessons to come James’ audience had a big problem with how they conducted their speech. James has already warned them to be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger. This would give us the indication that the believers this is written to were very outspoken and did not listen like they should have been and consequently arguments inevitably arose.
Verse 1 hits on another problem that is still around today. The first part of the verse says “My brethren, be not many masters”. The phrase ‘my brethren’ shows us that this is talking to believers so this applies to us today. The next bit says ‘be not many masters’. From this we can gather there was an obvious problem with leadership. Everyone wanted to be in a position of leadership, perhaps because of the authority or perhaps because of the prestigious office. Whatever the case may be we can see there was a problem. However, these people desiring to be in an office did not consider the tremendous responsibility and more importantly their accountability. Those who are in a position of leadership face a far stricter judgement. Teachers of God’s word must teach God’s word; but they must also be accountable in everything else they say. They must speak the truth. They must also adhere to what they preach! If you are a spiritual leader you can’t go around telling people not do things when you yourself are doing them. You have to practice what you preach. Otherwise you are in danger of being called a hypocrite. Un-salvageable damage has been caused in people’s lives from preachers and teachers who were unprepared or whose spiritual life was not up to par.
The second part of the verse says “knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.” This links back into my previous point about accountability and responsibility. If a spiritual leader is leading his church in the wrong direction, preaching false doctrine, gossiping, lying, bullying, slandering, cursing or using his tongue to talk about things that aren’t glorifying to God then this ‘leader’ is in danger of the souls he has led astray. He will not be sent to hell if he is truly saved but he will not be rewarded for his incorrect service. A spiritual leader must conduct his words in a fitting manner at all times.
Verse 2 says “For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” The first phrase ‘for in many things we offend all’ is like an expansion pack to all believers. It is not just the leaders who are accountable for things they say. Neither is it just the things that are said. The verse says ‘for in many things’. There are people out there who are always offended by the smallest things. There is always something you do that is going to offend someone. This will be explained in more detail in later lessons.
The second part of the verse says “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” James 1:26 explains that if any man who seems to be religious but doesn’t bridle his tongue hasn’t got true religion. Now we see here that if there is a man who does not offend in what he says then this man is perfect. We also notice something very interesting. We see that a man who doesn’t offend with his words is able to take control of his whole body. A person who can control his speech can control everything. As we will see in later lessons the tongue is an uncontrollable member. With this in mind we notice that a man who can control the most uncontrollable member of his body can control everything.
Let me ask you today, can you control your tongue? Do you desire to be a leader when in reality you need to be the one being taught? Are you trying to force your way into a ministry when you have no place being there? Realise today that some people are just not called to the ministry and forcing your way in will not result in a blessing. If you are a spiritual leader are you adhering to the things that you teach or do you go around slandering and lying? Are you teaching proper doctrine? Realise that if you are in a leadership position you are held accountable for the people you lead. Also realise today that it is not just the spiritual leaders who are accountable for the things they say. Every Christian has an obligation to control their tongue. If you can control your tongue then you can control the rest of yourself. Self-control is an important part of Christian life. If you are not up to scratch today I pray that you will take it to the Lord and confess what needs to be confessed and ask for His help to get over it. If you are a gossip ask for forgiveness and change. If you are a liar ask for forgiveness and change. If you are constantly running people down ask for forgiveness and change. If you are doing anything that is not glorifying to God then take it to God and change. The only way to be effective as a Christian is to set the right example with a little self-control. – Andrew.
Posted on September 24, 2012, in Andrew's Thoughts for the Day and tagged Bible, Christianity, God, James, Jesus, Leadership, Lord, Religion and Spirituality, Spiritual leader, Tongue, Word. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.