Taming the Tongue

by Casey Reale

Did you know that if you are flying across the country from Los Angeles to New York or from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. is a matter of a 3% difference at takeoff. That is because small adjustments can make a big difference. Sometimes all that is needed in life is a small change in alignment, perception or in words.

As we continued in James chapter 3, we learned that there is something very small in our life that steers the ship of our life. That very small thing is our tongue. The Bible tells us that the power of life and death is in the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). In James, he references several comparisons that correlate how the tongue can impact the whole body.

If you can make a small adjustment with your tongue, it's going to lead to a big change in your life.

Something Pastor Jesse pointed out on Father’s Day Sunday was that, “God takes words very seriously. When God created the heavens and the earth, he didn't pick up a hammer. He didn't reach for some nails. He didn't look for some plywood. He just spoke it into existence and that which was not all of a sudden came to be. God is into words. He takes them very seriously.”

James 3:1-2 states that, “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.”

Pastor Jesse then broke down that the desire to teach is a good thing and from God, but there are a few things to know ahead of time in order to succeed in the role.

1. Be patient.

If you have a great purpose, you are going to have to walk through a great process. Anything with real purpose requires a process to take place. A great analogy is that of the mushroom versus the oak tree. When a mushroom swells to life, it takes God only 6 hours to make it happen, but an oak tree takes God 60 years, but will be strong and foundational.

2. Be under.

Submission to leadership isn’t always an easy thing, but it is a necessary requirement in the Kingdom of God. So many people never get over the things God has placed under them, because they never get under what God has placed over them. So if you want to be a teacher, you need to have a teacher. If you want to be an authority, you need to be under authority.

3. Be prepared.

There is an expression that Pastor Jesse used and he said that criticism is the tax you pay for influence. Being prepared isn’t having a sermon prepared or having seats out for guests, but being prepared internally to be able to handle criticism when it arises because it will arise.

After going over these lines of scripture, we dove into the next section within James and here is how it reads:

 “When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.” (James 3:3-4)

What is this passage of scripture saying? Our words have power. And if you are ever going to tame the tongue, you are going to have to understand the power of your tongue.

Did you know that the average human being speaks enough words in one week to write a 500 page novel? The question that Pastor Jesse posed us with was: what story are you writing?

We see that our tongue has a ton of power and here’s some of the examples of power that were shared on Sunday:

1. The power to DIRECT

As we can see in the text, ‘the mouth can make the whole animal obey.’ If you control the horse's mouth, you can control his body. If you can control his body, you can control his direction. It works the same for us as humans. If we can get control of our mouth, then we get control of our body, and if we control our body, we can choose our direction.

The other distinction James uses describes a rudder of a ship, which is so small, but steers the entire ship. Pastor Jesse stated, “You can have the momentum of heaven behind you, but if you haven't chosen your direction, it won't matter very much because speed is important, but direction is so much more important.”

A good question to ask ourselves is: Which way are you speaking? What direction are you steering your life?

if you don't like the direction of your life, you need to check which way your tongue is steering it.

2. The power to DESTROY

Some of us are unaware that our tongue is a weapon in our mouth. How are we using that weapon? As mentioned earlier, ‘The power of life and death is in the tongue’. This means that the tongue has the power to destroy one another, but it can also heal one another.

How are you choosing to use your words tomorrow when you go to your office, when you go to school, when you get back into your home with your husband or your wife, what are you going to say? How are you going to speak? Because if we’re not careful, we’ll see through our life that our tongue is just this small thing that can do big things. Work. If you can make a small adjustment, which is taming the tongue, you would see big changes in your life.

3. The power to DEFINE

Jesus said out of the heart, the mouth speaks. This means that whatever it is in our hearts will start to be what comes out of our mouths. Have you ever noticed or tried to start saying something out loud you don’t believe? It is challenging. Because it out of the heart that the mouth will speak.

Either your words aren't lining up with your heart, which doesn't make any sense, or your heart itself is the problem. And if our words aren't lining up with what we say we want to believe, that means we're not connected to the right source, because ultimately your words will define you.

If you don't like your fruit, you have to check the root. Because the way that fruit is produced is by having a good root. And if you look at your life and don't like the harvest you are reaping, then you have to check the words that you're sowing.

When we get our hearts right our mouths starts to reflect it.

It was an amazing weekend at My City Church celebrating Father’s, continuing the book of James and lifting up the name of Jesus! We can’t wait to see you soon!