There are about 3200 tigers in the wild. There are close to 5000 in captivity, the majority of them are owned by private owners, not zoos.
James 3:1-18 – We all make mistakes. Those who are instructing others are in a place that gives them increased opportunity to make mistakes.
How We View the Tongue
James compares the tongue to a bit in a horses mouth, or the rudder of a ship, or a spark that starts a fire.
Matthew 15:10-20 – Jesus is saying that it is the things that come from the heart, actions and speech that make a person unclean or clean. If the heart is bad, bad will come out. If the heart is clean and pure, good will come out.
So what is James saying? Our tongue and our words do direct the course of our life, because they are an indication of what things are in our hearts. James was addressing an issue that his readers were having, they were praising God and cursing each other.
If there is a mixture of good and bad things coming from our lives there is a root issue that is not good.
Why is the tongue so dangerous?
Our words affect other people. We all have many thoughts. Our thoughts need to be redeemed. When we say things we are putting a stake in the ground. We may change our mind and wish we had said something different but once they are out they cant’ be taken back. We can make people laugh and feel better about themselves with our words, we can make people sad with our words, we can hurt people with our words. Proverbs 26
Our words can go much farther than we ever intend for them to. If we are venting our frustration with someone in than result in more frustration and anger and perhaps more angry words between the two involved parties. We as humans are naturally proud and don’t like to be wrong. Sometimes when we say something wrong we try to defend it because of our pride.
How should we respond when we have slander or gossip directed at us? If its minor perhaps we should let it go – Ecclesiastes 7:22. Matthews 18 has another approach for things that are more substantial.
How should we respond when we hear slander or gossip directed at others? Do we want people talking about the poor decisions we’ve made? How would you feel if someone was saying these things about you? We aren’t responsible for every little bit of gossip we hear, but we are responsible for how much of it we pass along. Provers 26:20-21
Ephesians 4:29, 1 Peter 3:9 – Our natural response is to return evil for evil, insult for insult, but Jesus calls us to bless others and to build each other up.
Are we actively building up and encouraging? Are we confessing and making commitments that mean something?