Text: James 3:8 “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”
Introduction: Growing up I was taught this little verse: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Evidently the author had never had someone say something to them that hurt worse than sticks and stones. Words formed with the untamable tongue can cause damage beyond repair.
Slow Down: James 1:19 “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:” Many times we misunderstand others because we do not hear them; because we are trying to think of an answer from the previous statement. Listen to what others say. Listening is much more than just hearing. Once a hurtful statement is said; we cannot take it back from their ears.
Gossip: Proverbs 18:8 “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” Whether true of false the words of the talebearer were usually told in confidence. It hurts when a trust has been broken. Proverbs 11:13 “A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.”
A Good Name: Proverbs 22:1 “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” Guard your good name. Once you get a bad label beside your name, great damage has been done.
Conclusion: Sometimes no answer is the best answer. The man who can bridle his tongue is a perfect man and able to bridle the whole body. As Christians we must control our tongues and not damage the cause of Christ. Individuals salvation hang in the balance.