Watch Your Mouth!

James 3:1–12 (NKJV)

My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.

mouthI’ve been thinking about our impact on others. On Sunday evening we just wrapped up a brief two week series on communication. This is something that I clearly need to work on. It’s a good thing that we have a perfect book to aspire to, and that although we as pastors are to model a good example to the church, we are not THE standard.

I’m grateful for the people God has surrounded me with in ministry. Starting with my wife and family and extending to our pastoral or elder staff and deacons. Those that are closest to me and are willing to risk speaking into my life the things that I often do not wish to hear.

Just the other day one of our men was talking with me regarding the impact of our words on people that are not even in the room. People that are two or three persons removed from the conversation. It’s easy to forget the power of our words on people all over the place, even people that we haven’t personally spoken to. Especially in leadership. It’s easy to forget the weight of your words, especially when you don’t feel respect from those you serve, or from those you serve with. Sometimes you forget, because of your low view of yourself. But my friend reminded me. And I’m grateful.


Let’s be careful out there, we never know whom we might affect with our words.

Lord, help me to be more like you as I speak, wherever I speak, and to whomever I speak.