“Authentic Faith”- What I believe is how I behave! “Transparent Faith”- What I believe and how I behave is about who I am beneath the surface!
Transparency means… “Able to be seen through, easy to notice or understand, honest and open, not secretive.” Transparent Faith has to do with the TRUE me- honest, open, easy to see my faith!
If you think James has kicked our butts to this point… Now he’s gonna mess with our mouth! We are a NATION of “TALKERS!” TV is filled with “talk shows!” We spend 1/5 of our lives “talking!” Regrettably, not everything we say comes out right!
Who said something stupid today already? ME! “Hey, the Cowboys could beat the Broncos!” Dumb!
Our mouths can get us into a lot of trouble! Interestingly, James has a lot to “say” about our “tongue”- he mentions it in EVERY CHAPTER. So, it’s a big deal!
James 3:2 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. Notice, I keep MY whole body, MY life in check, under control when I learn one very key thing: MANAGING MY MOUTH! WHY??
Our Words Determine Our Direction!
- God used “words” to speak the world into existence! Gen. 1
- John says Jesus was the “Word” that became flesh and dwelt among us! Jn. 1
- The Psalmist said, “God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path!” Ps. 119:105
Joshua- (ch. 1) “Speak My Word… Watch what you say…” WHY? It was God’s “directions!”
Think about it…. What comes out of your mouth the most?? Is it positive, negative, encouraging, discouraging, boastful, pitiful, comforting, critical?? BECAUSE…
We SPEAK our WORDS and they SHAPE our LIVES!
Ja. 3: 3-4, 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.
Show a pic of a racehorse with a jockey… Here’s a 2500 lb. powerful animal with a 95 lb. person on it controlling it because of a small metal bar in the horses mouth! A “BIT” seems like such a small thing… but a “BIT “of a WORD can change the complete direction of someone’s life! A bit of sarcasm, negativity…
Show a pic of a huge ship… An aircraft carrier can weigh 220,500 tons!! It can be battered by wind and waves, yet a tiny RUDDER directs that ship! Our WORDS, like a RUDDER either keep us ON COURSE or steer us OFF COURSE!
We underestimate the influence that our words have… especially on our children and those who are so impressionable! You are shaping your life, lives of others by what you say!! EX. Kids SAY what you SAY!! James uses the “bit” and “rudder” to illustrate that Your TONGUE is the STEERING WHEEL of your life!
What you SAY is STEERING your LIFE and SHAPING your FUTURE! Perhaps if you don’t like where you’re headed… THEN DON’T SAY ANYTHING!
Prov. 13:3 Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything. SOMETIMES I just need to SHUT UP!
Our Words Can Be Destructive!
Ja. 3:5-6 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 body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. (Hell gets hold of your tongue!)
Wildfires!!! We know all too well the destruction that wildfires have caused across our state… One small strike of lightening. One tossed cigarette. One careless camper can destroy 100’s of thousands of acres of pristine wilderness and beauty… WELL…
A CARELESS WORD can DESTROY a LIFE! It often comes in the form of GOSSIP. Gossip STARTS as a SPARK but soon spreads like a wildfire! GOSSIP is often SAYING SOMETHING you don’t know to be TRUE about SOMEONE you HOPE it’s TRUE about!
How many people have let their tongue/mouth DESTROY their career, marriage, reputation, church, friendship, witness???
Verbal Arsonist- someone who TORCHES others with their TALK! Ever met one?? FIRE like WORDS: UNDER CONTROL gives COMFORT! FIRE like WORDS: OUT of CONTROL causes CHAOS! Destruction, devastation, loss… James says, “Everything and everyone gets burned up!”
PRINCIPLE of SOWING/REAPING, we LIVE with the CONSEQUENCES of EVERYTHING we SAY!
WORDS CREATE A CHAIN REACTION! A few comments can set off a chain of events. You come home mad, yell at the wife, she takes it out on the kids, kids take it out on the dog, the dog poops on the carpet in the living room…
The phrase: “All hell broke loose!” One small, insignificant thing caused all sorts of terrible and devastating things to happen! Terry got sick and wasn’t in the office and all hell broke loose!
Prov. 21:23 (GN) If you want to stay out of trouble, be careful what you say.
James gives us a ZOO illustration! Ja. 3:7-8 7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
This isn’t very good news, James says the tongue is UNCONTROLLABLE! It’s RESTLESS. GREEK Word here means “always liable to break out!” At any moment I can say something stupid, hurtful, destructive, etc.
Like those “Watch out for Bears” signs in campgrounds… At any moment a big ole bear could come flying in here and devour everybody! That’s our tongue, it can just go off on a destructive spree!
It’s POISONOUS. Like snake venom, just a few drops and deadly! The tongue is a deadly weapon and it can destroy people’s reputations! HERE’S THE THING…
Our Words Reveal What’s Deep Within Us!
Ja. 3:9-10 9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.
What I SPEAK reveals my TRUE SELF! James points out how inconsistent we are. We praise God but curse other people! And “curse” here does not mean “profanity” but “to cause injury or harm by means of a statement.”
Then James wraps up with this… (S17) Ja. 3:11-12 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
We have to CONSIDER the SOURCE! Here’s the REAL ISSUE!
My PROBLEM is NOT with my TONGUE, it’s with MY HEART! My mouth just simply BETRAYS what I’m really LIKE on the INSIDE!
What’s in the well comes out in the water! What’s in the tree comes out in the fruit! How often do we say, “Oh, it’s not like me to say that!” Oh yes it is- it’s exactly what you meant to say! Or, “I shouldn’t say this…” But we DO anyway!!
Mt. 12:34 Jesus said, “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
My TONGUE only REVEALS WHO I REALLY AM! We really don’t have a MOUTH MANAGEMENT problem, we have a HEART NOT FULLY SURRENDERED TO GOD problem!
Luke 6:45 “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
So what’s the solution? What do you do if you have a mouth management problem? You can’t control your tongue- it blesses and curses. Your words are shaping your life and others in a destructive way???
Don’t focus on your mouth, first focus on your heart!
Pray and ask God to heal your heart, give you a new heart! Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Think before you speak! Prov. 16:23 The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent, and their lips promote instruction.
The only way to manage your mouth is to let Jesus have control of your heart!
James says that TRANSPARENT FAITH is found in this powerful prayer: Ps. 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
PRAY that right now…