Study Guide

James, 1-2 Peter, Jude James 3

James 3

Those Who Can't Do, Teach

  • Not everyone is cut out to be a teacher like James. Oh, really?
  • Teachers have to watch what they do and say at all times because people are just waiting for them to screw up. Well, it's sort of true.
  • But teachers also make mistakes. Tons of them. Sometimes it's hard to keep control of your tongue.
  • A person's tongue is the rudder on a ship. It's a little tiny piece tucked away under the boat, but it can steer the whole vessel through uncharted waters. The tongue is pretty small, too, but it can take you to some amazing places.
  • It's sort of like how a whole forest can go up in flames just from a few matches. Our tongues are like tiny fires ready to set the world ablaze. Stand back!
  • But an unruly tongue can produce good words and bad words.
  • We say all kinds of good things about God with our mouths. But then we talk bad about his creations—other people—in the same breath. How rude!
  • Folks really shouldn't be doing this, says James.
  • It makes as much sense as having a faucet that pours out pure, sparkling water on one day and then raw sewage on another. Gross.
  • If you're smart, then you'll be humble and kind.
  • But if you've got the wrong kind of wisdom (the devilish kind), then you'll be a bitter, envious, selfish, clawing, liar. Yikes.
  • The bad kind of wisdom can wreck the world. The good kind can bring peace and sunshine and rainbows to everyone.

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