Last week in making a point about the importance of this congregation being a witnessing congregation I said, "When I think of all the people who might not live forever because of this dumb congregation," I got a lot of reaction from people. I didn't mean dumb by lack of intelligence. I meant dumb in the terms of the use of our tongue for the purpose for which they were intended; and I want to talk about that this morning, for that's the next aspect of coming to an understanding and management of stress in our lives. Turn with me, if you will, to the third chapter of James, an exciting word about the stress that's produced by the words that we speak to one another.
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 has not stumbled in word he is a perfect man able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horse's mouths that they may be able to obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships. Although they are so large and are driven by fierce wind, they are turned by a very small rudder whenever the pilot decides. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest of 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 it 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 by mankind, but no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil full of deadly poison.
Let us pray.
O gracious God, help us to use our capacity of words to really communicate. Help us also to understand ...
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