Controlling the tongue
Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. James 3:1-2 NLT
Every Christian should desire to grow in spiritual maturity. No Christian will remain stagnant in their spiritual life for this is contrary to what God wants from His children. “When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11). We grow in our faith through the study of the Word of God. God had provided us Christians who dedicated themselves to teaching God’s Word. From the text, James provided a warning for those who aspire to be teachers. The motive should be to edify the members of the body of Christ so they will be guided in living their lives for His glory. The goal is to bring to others the message of God’s Word as accurately as possible. They teach God’s Word not to satisfy their ego but for the benefit of others who desire to attain spiritual maturity. “...that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth” (Ephesians 4:13-14). This is why James’ admonition in the proper use of the tongue is very important. The enemy is out there deceiving people by misleading them pretending to be using God’s Word. Those who are given the task to teach should not misrepresent God by distorting His message. When we think about it, we know the tongue is the most difficult part of our body to control. Our mind is not always quick enough to stop it. It plays a big role in the “many mistakes” we commit in which we sin. God’s Word reminds us that if we could control the tongue, I believe that we can maintain control of all other aspects of living. But James wants us to be realistic about this matter. It is impossible to control our tongues for “we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way,” and we are not, nor can we be perfectly sinless. There are many, many ways in which we can abuse the use of our tongues: blasphemy, lying, gossiping, profanity. But none could compare than using the tongue to misrepresent and distort the Word of God! God takes the teaching of his Word seriously, and so should we!