The little instrument we call the tongue has enormous power. It has the ability to create and destroy; heal or crush; build up or tear down. Why? Because words are an indicator of our hearts; our faith. We have never spoken a word that has not first been ruled by our hearts. That’s why Christ goes after our hearts through our words. So, if we can change the declaration of our lips, we will change the direction of our hearts. -Pastor Dave
Open: Describe a time you said something you wish you could have taken back.
Read: James 3:1-2; Proverbs 12:18; 15:4; 18:21; Matthew 15:11,17-18; 12:36
1. In what ways would we be considered “talkish” people? How are our words a key indicator of our faith? You have heard it said, “Sticks and stones will break our bones, but words will never hurt me!” Is this a true statement? Why or why not? How have you seen words build up and tear down?
2. How do words reveal the heart? Why does James begin chapter 3 by talking to “teachers”? How is our accountability based upon our influence? In what ways do you struggle with your words?
3. James gives multiple illustrations for the power of the tongue. Which one stands out to you most? How can such a little member of the body have so much power? If the tongue is humanly untamable, how can it be controlled?
4. As you read James 3:9-12, how is the tongue remarkably conflicted? In what ways can we honor Christ with our tongues? Honor others? List some ways that our words can demonstrate our faith.
Pray: Pray that your words will reflect your faith in Christ and that Christ would change your heart in the areas where your words may need more grace.
Memorize/Meditate: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” Proverbs 18:21