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Lesson: The Tongue

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Scripture Reading: James 3:1-18.

Golden Text: Psalms 141:3

1. What is the tongue like? (James 3:5). Is it little? What great thing can it do? Is the tongue like a little fire in a great forest?

2. Is the tongue a fire, a world of iniquity? (James 3:6). Can the tongue defile the whole body? What is it set on fire by?

3. Has every kind of beast and bird, reptile and creature of the sea, been tamed by man? (James 3:7).

4. Has man also tamed his tongue? (James 3:8). Is the tongue an unruly evil? Is it full of deadly poison?

5. With our tongue can we bless God and 2 seconds later curse our neighbor? (James 3:9).

6. Out of the same mouth can we proceed with blessing and cursing? (James 3:10). Did James say that these things ought not to be so?

Note: Why did James say that no man can tame the tongue? Because it is an instrument through which the mind or heart speaks. The mind or heart of man is capable of producing much evil. ""The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9).

7. What did Jesus say proceeds out of the heart of man? (Mark 7:21-23). Do all of these things defile a man?

8. What is the most common failing of the use of our tongues? Is it Gossip? The definition of Ďgossipí is: "a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts about others. A rumor or report of an intimate nature."

People who wag their tongues do so out of vanity since they know something secret about somebody else.

What is someone called who gossips and wags their tongue? (Proverbs 18:8, 26:22). Are they a talebearer? Are their secrets like tasty trifles?

9. Does a person who conceals his hatred have lying lips? (Proverbs 10:18). Is a person who spreads slander a fool?

Does a talebearer reveal secrets? (Proverbs 11:13). Can the mouth and tongue of a hypocrite destroy his neighbor? (Proverbs 11:9). Should a person debate his cause with his neighbor and not tell his secret to others? (Proverbs 25:9-10). What could happen if the secret is told? Could your reputation be ruined?

10. What kind of a man digs up evil on another man? (Proverbs 16:27-28). The evil on his lips is like what? What does a perverse man sow? What does a whisperer do?

11. If a talebearer reveals secrets, and we want to do the right thing with a faithful spirit, what should we do? (Proverbs 11:13). Should we associate with a talebearer who flatters with his lips? (Proverbs 20:19). If there is no talebearer around what happens? (Proverbs 26:20). Is this like a fire going out when there is no wood? Does repeating a matter separate friends? (Proverbs 17:19). What are we doing in applying love to this situation?

12. Rumors can be another problem with the tongue. We should not repeat something if it is not totally true and correct. Something said in passing can get blown out of proportion. Lets notice the following passage in John 21:21, "Peter, seeing John, said to Jesus, "But Lord, what about this man?" {22} Jesus said to him, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me." {23} Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?""

Some of the disciples told others what they thought they had heard and this rumor spread abroad that the Apostle John was not going to die until Christ returned at His second coming. Believe it or not, there are some people today that think that John is still alive.

Did some of the disciples not hear everything correctly?

13. Backbiting is defined as: "to say mean or spiteful things about a person not present." An example of backbiting is to snap or condemn someone that you think has done you wrong. Backbiting is very hard to overcome because it involves Ďturning the other cheek.í

Psalm 15 is about abiding in Godís Tabernacle, which is a reference to Godís kingdom being established on the earth in the millennium.

Who may abide in Your tabernacle? (Verses 1-3). Will anyone who backbites with his tongue abide there? How about someone who does evil to his neighbor or takes up a reproach against his friend?

14. Does God hate lying? (Proverbs 6:16-19). One of the seven things that LORD hates is a lying tongue. What does the eighth commandment say? (Exodus 20:16). Are we to bear false witness?

Do you ever lie? Do you ever tell little white lies?

Note: There was a commercial where Abraham Lincoln, who supposedly never told a lie, where his wife asked him, "Do I look fat in this dress?" Abraham stuttered around not knowing what to say. What would you say? Well, you might say, "Well, it doesnít suit my taste." This way you are telling the truth and being tactful.

Does a wise man always keep himself under control? (Proverbs 29:11).

We should always seek to tell the truth so before you answer, pause and think, so you can tell the truth.

15. When we talk, we should speak with discretion, wisdom and consideration for others. Is the tongue of the righteous like choice silver? (Proverbs 10:20-21). Do fools die for lack of wisdom? Do the lips of the righteous know what is acceptable? (Proverbs 10:32). Does a soft answer turns away wrath? (Proverbs 15:1). Do the lips of the wise disperse knowledge? (Proverbs 15:7). Does a man have joy by the answer of his mouth? (Proverbs 15:23). Is it good when a word is spoken in due season?

16. To have the best control over our tongue we need to have a converted mind filled with Godís Holy Spirit. "Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips" (Psalms 141:3).


Scriptures


James 3:1-18

(James 3) "My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. {2} For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. {3} Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. {4} Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. {5} Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! {6} 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 sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. {7} For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. {8} But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. {9} With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. {10} Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. {11} Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? {12} Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.

Two Kinds of Wisdom

{13} Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. {14} But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. {15} This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. {16} For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. {17} But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. {18} Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."


Golden Text: (Psalms 141:3 NIV) "Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips."


All Questions unless noted: See Scripture Reading.

6.) (Jeremiah 17:9) ""The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?"

7.) (Mark 7:21-23) ""For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, {22} "thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. {23} "All these evil things come from within and defile a man.""

8.) (Proverbs 18:8) "The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost body."

(Proverbs 26:22) "The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost body."

9.) (Proverbs 10:18) "Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, And whoever spreads slander is a fool."

(Proverbs 11:13) "A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter."

(Proverbs 11:9) "The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor, But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered."

(Proverbs 25:9-10) "Debate your case with your neighbor, And do not disclose the secret to another; {10} Lest he who hears it expose your shame, And your reputation be ruined."

10.) (Proverbs 16:27-28) "An ungodly man digs up evil, And it is on his lips like a burning fire. {28} A perverse man sows strife, And a whisperer separates the best of friends."

11.) (Proverbs 11:13) "A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter."

(Proverbs 20:19) "He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; Therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips."

(Proverbs 26:20) "Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases."

(Proverbs 17:9 "He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends."

12.) (John 21:21-23) "Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, "But Lord, what about this man?" {22} Jesus said to him, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me." {23} Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?""

13.) (Psalms 15:1-3) "LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? {2} He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, And speaks the truth in his heart; {3} He who does not backbite with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend;"

14.) (Proverbs 6:16-19) "These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: {17} A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, {18} A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, {19} A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren."

(Exodus 20:16) ""You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."

(Proverbs 29:11) "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control."

15.) (Proverbs 10:20-21) "The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; The heart of the wicked is worth little. {21} The lips of the righteous feed many, But fools die for lack of wisdom."

(Proverbs 10:32) "The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, But the mouth of the wicked what is perverse."

(Proverbs 15:1) "A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger."

(Proverbs 15:7) "The lips of the wise disperse knowledge, But the heart of the fool does not do so."

(Proverbs 15:23) "A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!"

16.) (Psalms 141:3) "Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips."