Summary of passage: James begins by stating that teachers are judged more strictly. We all stumble in our walk with God. Small things can control big objects: a bit controls a horse, a rudder controls the ship. The tongue can as well. A tiny spark can burn and destroy the whole forest. So can the tongue: it can corrupt the whole person. No man can tame it (implying only God can). It is evil.
For out of the same mouth come praises to God and curses to men. This should not be.
The wise are shown by a good life and deeds done in humility. Earthly wisdom harbors bitter envy, selfish ambitions, boasting, denying the truth, disorder, and evil. Heavenly wisdom is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, merciful, impartial, and sincere, leading to righteousness.
3) They have more opportunity to sin due to the authority they have over others. Teachers should set the example and stumble less in their walk with Christ.
4a) Control: A small bit can control a horse, a rudder turns the whole ship. Destroy: a small spark can burn a whole forest. The tongue can be either. It can boast or corrupt the whole person.
b) Personal Question. My answer: I don’t like this question so I’m going to hold my tongue in answering it. I’m not sure how re-living others’ past hurts can help us improve our walk with the Lord. I think we are all mature enough to realize what we say to others is powerful. This question would have been great if it had focused on the positive aspect of hurtful words: overcoming and forgiving the person who said them.
c) Hold it
5) Wisdom is knowledge of what is right. When you act out of what is right, you are humble. For pride is not wisdom. You do good works because it is the right thing to do, leading to humility. You know pride is destructive; therefore, you are wise to be humble.
6a) Earthly wisdom is bitter envy and selfish ambition, boasting, denying the truth, disorderly, and evil. Heavenly wisdom is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere and thus righteous.
b) Pray. To turn your heart. To heal your wounds. To know Him more. Read the Word. Soak in its truths so you are more able to push out the evils of this world. And act. Be more pure, peaceful, considerate, submissive, merciful, impartial, and sincere in your life towards others and your wisdom will grow. Practice makes perfect!
Conclusions: Holding of the tongue has been repeated throughout this study, which I like. Something I need to hear.
My overarching theme this year seems to be prayer. In every personal answer, I have been answering prayer. For God promises He will answer our prayers. I am constantly striving to pray more in my daily life.
I also like how judging is repeated this year as well. It’s important to remember that we will be judged and what we do matters. The reminder that we are held to a higher standard should be paramount in our minds. We are examples to others in all things.