This week, Pastor Chris finished up our Freedom in Christ series teaching on the power of the tongue. Our words are often an indicator of our heart condition and have the power to bring about positive or negative shifts in our lives and the lives of others. We want to be a people whose hearts are healthy and whose words bring life, propelling others toward their calling and identity in Christ.

“Without the tongue no mother could sing her baby to sleep.  No ambassador could adequately represent our nation.  No teacher could stretch the minds of students.  No officer could lead his men in battle.  No attorney could defend truth in court.  No pastor could comfort troubled souls.  Our entire world would be reduced to unintelligible grunts and shrugs.” Chuck Swindoll

Small Things Can Cause Great Results 

James 3:1–2 (ESV)
1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 

Examples of an Untamed Tongue

• Gossip
• Diminishing others
• Bragging
• Manipulation
• False teaching
• Exaggerating
• Complaining
• Flattering & Lying

Luke 6:45 (ESV)
45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

The Power of the Tongue

James 3:3-6 (ESV)
3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 

Matthew 12:34 (ESV)
34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

When words are used properly, they can…

• Encourage
• Heal emotional bruises and scrapes
• Soothe an agitated or anxious person
• Give hope to the despondent and significance to the ignored
• Create a home of life
• Make or break a marriage
• Build up children
• Honor, praise and worship God
• Cultivate love and build the church

The Power to Bless or Curse

James 3:7–8 (ESV)
7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 

Psalm 141:3 (ESV)
3 Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!

“He does not say no one can tame the tongue, but no one of men: so that when it is tamed we confess that this is brought about by the pity, the help, and the grace of God.” Augustine

James 3:9–12 (ESV)
9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

 Blessing ~ To speak well of, benefit, praise, and divine favor.
 Curse ~ To pronounce words of ill-will, harm, misfortune, or divine harm.

Proverbs 12:18 (ESV)
18 There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Ephesians 5:4 (ESV) 
4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 

The Power of Death or Life

Proverbs 18:21 (ESV)
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Death ~ dying, disease, epidemic. 
Life ~ nourishment, joy of life, prosperous life.

Proverbs 18:21 (MSG)
21 Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.

Romans 12:14 (ESV)
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

Ways we speak words of death/cursing…

• Labeling of others or self
• Contempt
• Slander/Gossip
• Sarcasm
• Grumbling/Complaining

Discussion Questions:
1. Share an example of when you have experienced the power of someone else’s words. This can either in a positive way or a negative way.
2. Looking at the “Examples of an Untamed Tongue”, can you see any of those in your own life?
The tongue is like a ship’s rudder or bits in a horse’s mouth directing the way we go. Where is your tongue currently directing you? Where would like it to take you?
3. What needs to happen in your heart so that your words are that of blessing, life, hope, and thanksgiving?

Application Questions
1. At the end of service, Pastor Chris led us in a corporate prayer time pointing our three categories to pray through: words you have spoken to others that were not life-giving, words that were spoken to you that were hurtful, and ways you have cursed yourself with your words. Spend time this week continuing to sit with the Lord in each of these categories repenting, allowing the Lord to heal areas of your heart and agreeing with His truth over your life.
2. Think of someone you can encourage this week! Text, call or grab coffee with someone and speak encouragement over them.

Join us for an in-person service at City Central Church in Tacoma, WA
Sundays at 9am + 11am