Oh Be Careful Little Mouth
Verse 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.
So now that we know we may not want to become teachers because of the strict judgment, we need to be honest with ourselves and admit that doesn’t totally let us off the hook about what we say.
We all know that we are not perfect. At least if we are honest with ourselves we know that. We stumble in our life and more often than not it is with our speech that we stumble. This isn’t about misspeaking or struggling with language, this is about spiritually stumbling with what we say. We talked about teachers needing to watch what they teach and say so that they don’t cause someone to stumble but we also need to be careful with our mouths so that we don’t injure someone.
Now before we go any further we need to clear up one thing that is often misunderstood. While we are to keep a close watch on our tongue this is not to say that it is always better to stay quiet. Watching what we say doesn’t mean it is always comfortable to say what needs to be said. There are times that the truth must be spoken from a loving spirit. These words may cut deep but to refrain from saying what needs to be said could actually be counter intuitive to our mission as Christians.
But it also doesn’t mean that we say whatever comes into our head. Remember James had grown up with the perfect example of what a controlled tongue looked like. He had heard Jesus speak perfectly chosen words. He had, no doubt, been on the receiving end of those words on more than one occasion. James would have also known from his own lips that it isn’t easy to say the right thing all the time. He had made his share of faux pas.
Knowing this truth about himself and everyone he knew other than Jesus, James makes it clear to his readers that none of us are perfect in our speech. If we had the power to control everything we say, we would be able to control every part of our body. We know we don’t have that power but we can’t see this lack of power as an excuse not to try. It is important that as Christians our words are reflecting Christ, because like it or not, what comes out of our mouths does reflect our relationship with Him.
Making It Personal
Do you struggle with monitoring your words? When was a time that your words made a situation worse? When have your words made a situation better?
Making It Personal Kids
What does it mean to watch what you say? Have you ever said something that you wish you hadn’t said? Has there ever been a time you feel bad that you didn’t say something that you should have?
Father, thank You for the gift of being able to speak and for this caution about watching what we say. Give us wisdom of when to speak and give us the words we need to say. In Jesus’ name, amen.