OPENING SONG AND PRAYER
We started our time by singing Hymn #111, We Come, O Christ, to You and praying together.
Then we spent time reciting James 3:6-10, in our typical fashion (spend a couple minutes to review, then recite together)
Discussion of James 3:6-10
First, looking at vv6-7, "set on fire" - the tongue is very destructive.
We need to exercise much self-control, recognizing that our tongues are very capable to hurt others.
James points out that the tongue is uniquely capable of defiling the entire body. It's not that it specifically defiles your big toe, for example, but that it can lead the entire body somewhere.
Vv7 points to the creation time period (Adam) - the point is that taming the tongue is that difficult.
Looking at vv8-10, we never graduate from taming the tongue, it is a life-long battle
It's obvious that God gave you this mouth to bless people, but we use it to curse people
What are some ways that we can curse others?
Gossip, and slander are obvious ways.
Malice - if we see someone doing something wrong, we may wish ill upon them, and when something happens rejoice in something bad happening to them. This is not right.
Ridicule - there's a sinful part of us that feels good about ourselves when we put others down and degrade others
But every human was made in the likeness of God (Adam in God's likeness in Gen 1:26, then through procreation mankind in God's likeness Gen 5:3) has great dignity in the eyes of God.
As a side note, tasteful self-deprecation is good humor!
When we hear people curse others, we should stop it. Even better, we should use it as an opportunity to the gospel.
It's one thing to point out that it's not good, but it's even better to point out that It's not just our own virtue, but it's from God. The more we include God, the better.
We should always be ready to talk about the gospel, and make a defense (1 Pet 3:15).
We should be ready to encourage others, while recognizing that we are not the police, and shouldn't have the mindset of waiting for someone to sin.
If someone persists, you want to be the kind of brother that musters up courage and brings it up in someone's life, but don't pounce on others.
Discussion of James 3:11-16
Next, we looked at vv11-12. Continuing from the previous verses, since every person has been made in the likeness of God, we should use our tongues in the way that God has made them for.
Vv13 begins a new section
If you're truly wise, it will manifest itself in your lifestyle and conduct
But bitter jealousy and arrogance completely opposite of true wisdom, and is not that which comes down from above
We have to recognize that it's all for the glory of God
What are some ways that jealousy and self-ambition can creep in?
- Career goals
- Entitlement, feeling like you deserve something