The Life Project: James
James doesn’t pull any punches. I like this about him. James’
whole book is dedicated to putting your faith into action. His
premise is that faith which does not affect our lives practically is
no faith at all. James specifically targets our speech as an area in
the Christian life that must come under the control of Christ if we
truly have a faith in Christ. In James 1: 26 says, “Those who
consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on
their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless”.
See? I told you James didn’t pull any punches. But the truth is the
Bible has a lot to say about our speech and for good reason.
James 3:2b, “Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is
perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.” If we were able
to tame our tongue, we would be perfect. This speaks to both the
impossibility and the importance of taming the tongue.
With our tongues we have the capacity to gossip, slander, tear
down, discourage, lie, curse, be prideful, tell course jokes, and
many more evils. We also have the ability to encourage, love,
speak truth, and the hardest thing to do; be silent. So what do you
choose? If you are having trouble taming your tongue, join the
human race. But also consider these scriptures.
· Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruits.
· Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths,
but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that
it may give grace to those who hear.
· Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned
with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each
· Ephesians 4:25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each
one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members
one of another.
· Romans 3:13 Their throat is an open grave; they use their
tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips.
· Matthew 12:34-35 You brood of vipers! How can you speak
good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart
the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure
brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure
brings forth evil.
· Ephesians 5:4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor
crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be
· Psalms 39:1 I said, “I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with
I will guard my mouth with a muzzle,so long as the wicked are in
· Titus 2:8 ....and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so
that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say
· James 3:6-10 How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small
fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The
tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body,
setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For
every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be
tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can
tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it
we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who
are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come
blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be
These scriptures do not constitute all the Bible has to say about
the tongue. They are a mere sampling. Plato once said "There is
no harm in repeating a good thing." We would be wise to listen. It
is a simple truth; watch your mouth. Simple to understand, difficult
to put into practice. I am challenged to try. And as a side note, I
might add, we should watch our social media as well. I am sure
that if Facebook existed in James day, he would've said, "your
Facebook posts are set on fire by hell."