Friday, January 6, 2012

Digging Deeper (James 3:1-6)

Digging Deeper 15 James 3:1-6
There is a saying “Be careful what you ask for you may get it.” I believe there is scripture that walks along side that quote. Luke 12:48 But the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrust much, of him they will ask all the more.  Jesus is teaching His disciples about responsibility. The principle here is that the more opportunity, resources and knowledge that is received the level of responsibility greatly increases. As we approach this week’s text with that mind set we can see that we have been given so much, but how responsible are we with this blessing from God?
God has given us the ability to communicate and when James wrote these words communication was very limited in comparison to the vast ways we communicate today but the principle of scripture has not changed “Everyone who has been given much, much will be required” Chapter 3 of James is a good place for us to understand the power of both positive and negative communication.
So let’s dig a little deeper in God’s Word. James 3:1 Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment. Is James saying that we should ignore God’s call to teach His Word, of course not, God not only calls teachers but He gives the gift teaching and woe be it to those called if they do not teach. James is simply saying to teach is a powerful thing and because it is has so much influence it should not be taken lightly a single error can have grave consequences for the student it can change their whole perspective and character. Just as someone called to teach should never recoil from that responsibility someone that is not should consider the consequences of teaching amiss. James admits that we all have messed up but our propensity to stumble does not allow  an excuse or a relief from the responsibility.
James 3:3-5 Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they may obey us, we direct their body as well. Behold, the ships , also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boast of great things. Behold, how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire. Now James approaches the power of communication in general. He gives three examples a horse, a ship and a forest. Two of  these will only go where they are suppose to go when something very small is in control and one can be destroyed by a very small thing. God has given us the ability to communicate but with that comes awesome responsibility. Even a small child can control a very large horse if it can control the bit in its mouth and regardless of the size of the ship if someone responsible is at the helm controlling the rudder the ship will go as directed. Forrest do not need a roaring flame to be destroyed a very small spark can set into motion huge destruction.  
James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and set on fire by hell. These are very strong words. We need to consider the power of the things we say as they affect not only the hearers but ourselves as well. Everything that we say, everything that we write, and everything we “post” affects those who hear it or read it. Have we forgotten how powerful our communication is to destroy and damage or have we decided to use it for just that purpose. We tend to follow our words they set in motion how we think and how we act. We sometimes use the phrase “I am just putting it out there” but maybe not realizing that “just putting it out there” can and does change the course of our lives and has the power to destroy others.
James will continue this discourse concerning the tongue in the next few verses but there is enough instruction in these first 6 verses of chapter 3 for us to guard all our communication.

What do we believe about God? 
1.   God requires His Word to be taught with responsibility.
2.   The gift of Communication is given by God. 

What do we believe about ourselves? 

1.   What we say has great impact.
2.   What we communicate directly affects the course of our lives.
3.   Our tongue can be used for destruction.

No comments:

Post a Comment