Bible Studies for Life Lesson for Nov- 22- Watch Your Language
November 9 2009 by John Pond, Director of Missions, West Chowan Baptist Association

Focal Passage: James 3:1-18

“Words! Words! Words! I’m so sick of words! I get words all day through…”

Perhaps you recognize the words above as lyrics from the musical “My Fair Lady” from a scene in which Eliza explodes in anger over all the pretty words that have been spoken to her with little action. 

In today’s lesson James writes in a similar vein. He deals with the issue of words and how they are used. He warns those who answer the call to teaching — “Be careful what you say and be careful to do what you say.”

In Ecclesiasticus 14:1 we read, “Blessed is the man who has not offended with his tongue.” Our words can build up or tear down another in an instant. Sometimes our words can convey a positive reality, but the tone sets a completely opposite reality. Sometimes language can appear innocent, yet be destructive in its use.

In Rwanda there are three tribes: Tutsi, Hutu and Twa (or pigmy). In the language of Rwanda there are numerous classes of nouns. Within these classes there is a human class, numerous thing classes, place classes, and inanimate object classes. Sadly because the Twa are disliked by the Tutsi and Hutu people, much of the terminology used to refer to them is found in the thing and inanimate class, rather than human class of nouns. Also, in the past much evangelism done by the various Christian denominations in Rwanda neglected the Twa people because they were seen not as people, but things!

James writes, “With the tongue we praise our Lord, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be!” (3:9-10). How often have we heard or maybe said, after a holy time of worship, that the service was too long, or a testimony was too emotional, or the music was not to our liking, or “I didn’t get anything out of today’s service!” Decisions were made and God’s Spirit blessed but there always seems to be someone quick to dampen or kill what blessed others. Oh, the fiery and strong power of our tongues!

What does it require in order to speak with self-control and purity? James responds, “Wisdom which is not from below — earthy, unspiritual and demonic, but heavenly (from the breath of God) which is pure enough to approach God, in right relationship with God and men, sweetly reasonable, responsively submissive, merciful and fruitful (bearing fruit from mercy reflective of the Lord’s heart), unwavering in mind, and truly genuine.” Of such comes a harvest of righteousness and not empty kernels of deedless words.

11/9/2009 1:50:00 AM by John Pond, Director of Missions, West Chowan Baptist Association | with 0 comments

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