Steadfast – Week 4

Steadfast Speech: A Mighty Little Tongue (pages 95-124)
James 3:1-12

Lisa: Welcome our guest teacher – Abby Hanrahan. What a convicting teaching about our speech in the book of James?!

Abby: I grew up at Village and you may know me from serving coffee at the cafe or serving at VBS. I love serving at FORGE too. I go to school at Moody Bible Institute and am majoring in biblical studies and a minor in women’s ministry.

This passage was very convicting. Women speak an average of 20,000 words a day versus men speak about 7,00 so that is a lot of room for us to sin with our speech and make jokes and be sarcastic. We are called to teach others and love the Lord with our words as an act of worship.

First – Taking on your life as the captain.

  1. Not all of us SHOULD become teachers. This is important. Pay attention that this impacts your whole life. We as christians are called to teach. Psalm 78:5-6 He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children. The way we speak is important for how the next generation will follow God. It talks about the way we speak also gives future generations hope that the Lord is coming. The three groups of people I thought about are.
      • Children – we impact how children grow up and think by our words.
      • Unbelievers – we impact unbelievers with what Christ-like vocabulary should be.
      • Those that look up to us – the people we mentor or have a relationship with.
  2. The tongue is a tool and get to know your tool. It is made completely of muscle. It helps us to chew, taste, swallow. It enables us to speak, sing, encourage, and worship. It also enables us to speak from bitterness and anger, wrath. Slander, lie, gossip, manipulate, cuss. The two illustrations are the Horse and the Ship. The bit in the horse’s mouth directs where it goes. The captain of the ship has a rudder that is small but it directs the boat. The captain and the rider are You – the person. The ship and horse are the life – the direction and opportunities you are going to go. The people you impact. The rudder – the boat depended only on wind to get the boat going and the rudder to direct. We like the captain and rider are using our tongue to set the tone of our life by the words we decide to use.
  3. Using your words as building blocks. We are using our words to build character. We build up the community around us with our words. We are building a community of respect and trust. We are building up other believers. We are an example.

Second. – Your words and your heart are best friends

  1. The tongue is a sign of your (physical/spiritual) health. This is why the doctor has you stick your tongue out when you go to an appointment. How you use your tongues shows your spiritual health as well. It shows the state of your heart.
  2. Jesus is talking to his disciples and the pharisees are judging them for eating food with unclean hands. Jesus responds. Matt 15:10-11 And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” It defiles their character, reputation, environment, and people around them. The pharisees were prideful and it showed with the way they spoke to people and about them. They had so much knowledge of the Old Testament they didn’t have any room for their heart to grow or show to other people.
  3. A heart of Christ SHOULD NOT produce blessing and cursing (James 3:10) Also in Matt 12 Jesus says your faith can be judged by your fruit. You can produce rotten and evil fruit or fresh, good fruit. The words you say justify and condemn you. You should pray about this. James 1:5 – we are to ask God for wisdom and he will give it. We need whis with our words.

Third, We are always worshiping someone with our words.

  1. We will have to consistently chose what kind of fruit to produce (James 3:9-12). If we follow Christ, our fruit will match that. Choosing right words is a discipline but keeping in step with the Holy Spirit will help us produce fruit with our words. The fruit of the spirit in Galatians should all be shown through our words.
  2. If used wrong, the tongue can be full of poison and for destruction (Genesis 3). Courtney made an interesting connection of the snake and our tongue. Satan used his words for destruction and the fall of the earth happened. He made Eve doubt God, made Eve speak untrue things against God, morphed God’s word, deceived Eve to go against God’s Will.
  3. You have been given the gift of using your words by God, so worship Him with it (Isaiah 50:4). I just loved this verse. It changed how I looked at the gift of my words. “The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.” Isaiah 50:4 We can encourage and push people to keep going with just an encouraging word.

    Choose to bring life with your words and point people to Christ. We are called to be salt and light and we can do that with the smallest words.

So whats –
  1. Know yourself well enough to know how to control your tongue. Know your habits, struggles, areas you fall in, and people you are around. For me I tend to gossip and that makes it difficult to cultivate a trustworthy community. The chart on page 115 is so helpful to think through the different words and what is going on in your heart and behavior. Justifying ourselves. Knowing yourself, be thoughtful, reflective, and ask others.
  2. Keep in step with the Spirit and ask the Lord for a clean heart. Ask the Lord to give you discipline and accountability in this area and God will provide. The first so what is think about it and be convicted and this one is about your next step – what are you going to do about it? The freedom you get from pleasing the Lord will be worth the awkward at times to stop yourself from speaking something that you shouldn’t.
  3. Choose to speak life in every situation – build the kingdom and be salt with your words. Let people you interact with see the love of Christ by what you say. Your words can be what opens someone’s eyes to Christ. Just one small word – one of our 20,000 – Choose to speak life. Your tongue and heart are best friends. The things that flow out of your mouth are coming from your heart. You can’t fabricate kind words on the surface but rather kindness comes from your heart. On page 119 – Life taking vs Life giving.
What does steadfast speech mean…..

It looks like pointing to Christ with everything you think, say and do by teaching others and loving the Lord as an act of worship.

In This Week’s Video:

Abby Hanrahan
Abby Hanrahan
Lisa Lewis
Lisa Lewis