My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. 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.
James apparently had strong feelings about the role of the tongue, or the words we speak, in the life of the believer. He actually mentions it in every single chapter of his book, in fact. He mentions it in the following passages: 1:19,26; 2:12; 3:5,6,8; 4:11; and 5:12.
Reading what James has to say about our speech and we can see the idea of the tongue not only being the reflection of what is in our hearts, but also representative of the depravity of our nature.
Also, since James’ primary objective with his Epistle seems to be to teach believers how to behave, it follows in line that one of his lessons here is that the ability to control one’s tongue is a mark of a mature believer.
Let’s just take a look at some of the thoughts God shared with us regarding the tongue in His Word for today’s devotional.
When Paul was illustrating to us all our fallen condition, in Romans 3:13-15, he listed 5 organs of the body which are common vehicles for sin: throat, tongue, lips, mouth and feet. It seems very significant that four of the five have to do with our speech!
The tongue is described using many words in Scripture: wicked, deceitful, perverse, filthy, corrupt, flattering, slanderous, gossiping, blasphemous, foolish, boasting, and many others.
Jesus even had thoughts about our tongues
Matthew 12:36,37 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
Our words are similar to a sound wave broadcast into the air. Eventually, that sound wave will reach the far parts of space in a never ending journey; not only that, but the trip cannot be cancelled. Once that sound wave or our words start their journey, they cannot be brought back to the source and packed away.
What do our words say about our walk with Christ? If our words are a reflection of our heart, then what do we reveal about our heart when we speak?