Bible Reading: James 3.1-5

Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. James 3.1-5

This text begins with a word of caution to those who desire to teach (the Gospel) to think long and hard before doing so. Whether you are a teacher, salesperson, or consultant I pray this text challenges us to reflect on why we do what we do. Whether in full time ministry or in the secular workplace, are we just going through the motions or are we motivated by the calling in our life to make a difference where God has planted us?

There is no doubt that all of us cannot go a day without sin and are prone to stumble in many ways. Even on our best days as we seek to be more Christ like we fall short. For many of us what comes from our mouths is one of these areas of struggle. We often react to a situation out of anger or hurt speaking our thoughts and feelings negatively instead of responding through the filter that Christ gives us. We should bridle the tongue, but to have true victory we should not forget the source of the filth which comes from our mouths, the heart (Matthew 12:34).

So may we work on responding like Christ with the balance of truth and love when communicating our hurt or frustration to a friend, coworker or loved one. May we also be diligent in putting truth in our mind and heart so we will be better equipped to respond with the love of Christ.

Weekly Memory Verse:  Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5.17