James 3

James in this chapter speaks to the need for us to guard our words & for us to walk our lives through genuine wisdom.

I. How we use our words reflects what is in us.

Verses 3-6 NIV  says – “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. 5 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.”

James reminds us that the words we speak need to be thought through and carefully spoken.  When we allow our words to run free with no thought we are living a life that has no self control.  The damage that can be done by this type of loose tongue can take years to reverse.

I remember hearing a story one time about a little boy who spoke something in a moment of frustration to his grandfather.  He later felt bad for those words and went to ask forgiveness.  His grandfather took that moment to teach this young boy a very valuable life lesson.  He led the boy outside and gave him a feather pillow.  He told him to cut the pillow and let the feathers blow free into the wind.  After the feathers were all released, he told his grandson to now go and collect every feather and put them back into the pillow.  The boy said, “that can’t be done, they are gone”  to which the grandfather replied, “so it is my son with your words, once they have been spoken they cannot be returned.”

A very sober but thought provoking lesson.  James tells us that the man who is able to control his tongue is able to direct his whole body.  He makes the analogy of the small rudder that directs the ship.  The tongue although small leads the course.  Wow, if you really think about that it is powerful.  If I lead my words, I am directing my life course.

We know the Bible places incredible value on the power of our words.  We have the ability to release life or death with what we speak & James is again reminding us of the need to be the leader of our words to release life and blessing.

When our faith is authentic there will be a desire to walk  in self-control and to lead our words instead of letting our  tongue lead us..

II. We can live with a divine deposit of wisdom that will sow peace and bring the right harvest.
James tell us of two kinds of wisdom.  The first kind, is worldly and carnal.  The fruit of this wisdom is bitterness and self promotion.  It is the kind of earthly wisdom that produces disorder and people doing whatever they want.  When we look at this we see that there really is nothing good about  it.  It is just a picture of people doing whatever suits them and makes them feel good for the moment.  The trouble with this is that it leads to death and destruction.
However, James also refers to the wisdom  that comes from above.  This wisdom brings life.  It makes peace.  It promotes humility. It thinks about others, it is full of mercy, is considerate, sincere and is pure.  This wisdom brings with it a great harvest, a harvest of righteousness.
It would seem so obvious to the one looking on what we would want. Yet, so often we choose the bitter road, we choose the road of self promotion and the road that boasts of earthly wisdom.  The road that has written on its sign, “Wisdom from Above” is a road less travelled.  It requires less of self, more of mercy, a choice of purity, and a pursuit of humility.  Yet James tells us that this road is God’s road and the one we are called to journey upon.



  1. Reply
    Caitlyn Plowman says:

    Do you people have a facebook fan page? I searched for one on facebook or twitter but could not discover one, I’d really like to become a fan!
    My Bolg : DepressionSymptomsMedication.com

    • Reply
      bethelcommunitychurch says:

      We don’t have an actual facebook fan page, but we do have a group. It is called Bethel Community Church. Let me know if you have trouble finding it and we can go from there. Thanks & Be Blessed 🙂

  2. Reply
    Jim says:

    James, chapt 3:

    I think the reason why we gossip is because we think that we have the upper hand in knowing something that somebody else doesn’t know…that is, people will like to listen to us if we got somethng juicy to tell. Unfortunately, if there was any truth left in what we never got first hand…well, what a web we could weave when boasting and exaggaration sets in…like a fire racing through the forest. People end up getting hurt and what was first said never made it to the finish line. This ship had but a small rudder and totally lost it. Like a horse without a bit in its mouth, totally out of control.

    Well, you and I have a tongue…but how do we control it? Many a time we can regret what we have said…and it may take years to heal the damage it might have caused. It can separate us from one another (a tactic the devil himself would like) and its fire can discourage and kill the good in those who are not prepared for the fight. It truly can be set on fire by hell. The devil comes like a roaring lion to deceive, discourage, distroy, and kill…if we give him the opportunity. He’s got the unsaved already, but us who belong to Jesus, he likes to find deceptive temptations and ways in which we could be difiled and distroy ourselves and one another.

    The tongue is a “world of iniquity”. We are told in James 3:8 that no man can tame the tongue. Both cursing and blessing can come from it…but both? A spring can’t yield both salt and fresh water.Revelation 3 says… You got to be hot or cold…but not…lukewarm? This is a heart issue!

    From Rev.3:15 we read …“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,[g] I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because YOU SAY, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—AND DO NOT KNOW that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. ” How is your spiritial eyesight?
    This is a heart issue. In Luke, chapt.6 we read: 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart[a] brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
    So just what do you and I treasure in our hearts? And, who do you and I treasure there?
    Let’s take a look at 2 Cor.4: 3 “… if our gospel (the gospel is the good news…the Word made flesh…the words of Jesus which is spirit and life, Jesus, the Way, the Truth, the Life) is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”
    1 Cor.1:21 says that “the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks[b] foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. ”
    James 3:17 says… But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
    God’s Word is pure. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. God is love. (Love that according to 1 Cor 13 is…. love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.)
    We are not called to be peace keepers…but to “make peace”. We carry His Presence, Who is the Prince of Peace, with the comission to “Go” into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He is God’s wisdom in us.

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