“Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.” James 3:1-2
So far James has showed us two characteristics of the mature Christian. He is patient in times of trouble and he practices the truth. In this third chapter he is telling us that we have the power to control our speech. The power of speech is one of the greatest powers that God has given us. With speech we can praise God, pray, preach the Word, and lead the lost to Christ. This is wonderful. As always where there is a positive there is a negative. The same power can tell lies that ruin a man’s reputation or break a person’s heart. The ability to speak words is the ability to influence others and accomplish tremendous tasks, yet we take this ability for granted. We just need to realize that we have this power and think about what we say before we say it.
It seems that the church that James was writing was a church where everyone wanted to be a leader. It is amazing how relevant that the Bible is for today. We have some of the same problems in our churches. Most people only want the authority and prestige of the office without the tremendous responsibility and accountability. Those in leadership roles face the stricter judgment. The leader must use their speech to share God’s Word, but it is so easy to commit sins with our speech. If we are leaders in the Churches, we need to practice what we preach, other wise our teaching is hypocrisy. The person who is able to discipline their tongue gives evidence that they can control their whole body. They prove that they are mature Christians.