Explore The Bible Study: Control

7:11 AM

An undisciplined tongue can wreck homes, inflame emotions, obliterate reputations, destroy businesses, and send nations to war. A committed, disciplined tongue can inspire holiness, encourage forgiveness, and glorify God. Considering the political and social climate of our country today, this week's LifeWay Explore The Bible Study: Control, comes at a very appropriate time.

The session will focus on James 3:1-12 with a TARGET focused on the following:

God wants his people to control their tongues and to display true wisdom.

The downloadable teaching ideas suggest closing out by using the following verses as a means for the group to consider areas in which they need to ask God to help them control their tongues.

1 Peter 3:10 | Colossians 4:6 | Ephesians 4:29 | Proverbs 10:19 | Proverbs 15:4 | Proverbs 15:28 | Proverbs 21:23 | Psalm 141:3 | Proverbs 12:18 | Proverbs 15:1 | James 1:26 | Psalm 52:2

James uses three analogies in order to illustrate the power of the tongue in James 3:3-6
  • Bit – The rider of a horse uses a bit to control and govern a wild, unmanageable horse. Though the bit is small, its use gives riders the potential for turning the animal in whatever direction they wish.
  • Rudder – In gales and violent winds, pilots use the rudder to guide the ship to safety or point it in the direction of intended travel. Compared to the size of a ship, the rudder was very small, but its importance in controlling the ship demanded careful attention in its use.
  • Fire – A small spark can quickly grow to a raging forest fire destroying everything in its path.
Like the bit for the horse and the rudder for the ship, the tongue is small in comparison to the body and yet has powerful potential to achieve great results, both good and bad. It can stir up violence or promote peace. It can crush the spirit or soothe the discouraged. Like a small spark in a parched forest, the tongue can spark a fire that can turn into a raging, destructive force that is virtually impossible to contain without first wielding unimaginable damage on everything and everyone in its path.

James' conclusion in James 3:7-12 that, while humankind can tame wild animals, they can't tame their tongues without outside help. First, we have no hope of controlling our tongue without first surrendering our life to Christ.  Then, we must constantly ask the Holy Spirit to take control of our speech, since we are not capable of controlling it on our own. The good news is, the Holy Spirit can and will help us control our speech if we ask Him to.

Curtis Vaughan ,in James: A Study Guide, has warned, "A ready tongue without an informed mind, a devout character, and a holy life will hinder rather than advance the cause of Christ. It is extremely easy for vanity, self-conceit, and spiritual pride to creep in."

Let’s strive to never be guilty of having a tongue that hinders someone from being saved or growing in their faith.


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