The Trial of Speech

Scriptures: James 3:1-12
by Jacob Abshire on October 18, 2019

Your tongue says the most about who you are. Probably because it reveals your heart, where sin originates (Matt. 15:19). Jesus compared people to trees which are known by their fruit. What appears on the outside reveals what stirs on the inside. And, if our body parts were the branches, the tongue bears the most fruit. “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matt. 12:34).

An honest assessment of our speech would certainly give us reason to be alarmed. But perhaps nothing is more jolting than our Lord’s final words on the subject:

“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matt. 12:36-37).

James, the Lord’s brother, was also concerned about our speech. In his short epistle, he warned us to watch our words at least once in every chapter. But nothing in all of the book, even all of the Bible, is as dense as his treatment on the tongue in James 3:1-12. Here, he puts our faith on trial, but examining our speech.

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