Study Guide

James, 1-2 Peter, Jude Tongues

Tongues

Words have the power to start wars, heal wounds, and change lives. And what part of the body makes words come out the way they're supposed to? The tongue.

Yep. Tongues aren't just for French kissing anymore.

Stick Out Your Tongue

James has a really great passage about the power of words…and tongues:

The tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. (James 3:5)

Tongues can get you into a lot of trouble—say the wrong thing and you can really rub people the wrong way. But tongues can also get powerful ideas across—find the right words, and you might be able to win folks over to your way of thinking.

For the early Christians, the primary way of communicating to others about Jesus was by word of mouth…or word of tongue. The disciples traveled from place to place speaking about Jesus and trying to win believers. Sometimes what they said convinced people, and sometimes it just got them thrown in jail.

And it all depended on how good you were with your tongue.

That's what she said.

Tongue-Tied

It makes sense, then, that Christians had to be so careful how they used their tongues.

With [the tongue] we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh. (James 3:5-12)

Translation? Don't be two-faced. Or two-tongued. Don't profess to love God in one breath and then spew out a bunch of hatred in the next.

Consistency is key.

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