Sins of the Tongue

James 3:2-8

If we cannot “tame the tongue,” (James 3:8), how can we control our speech? It is done by making sure our hearts are right (Proverbs 4:23; James 3:9-12). This lesson will address a few sins of the tongue and how to avoid them.

False Teaching

  • This is suggested in the immediate context (James 3:1) – we must teach the truth (1 Peter 4:11; 2 Timothy 4:2; 2 John 9)
  • Damaging effects of false teaching – upsetting whole families (Titus 1:10-11); overthrowing the faith of some (2 Timothy 2:16-18)
  • How to keep from teaching what is false? – love the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10); know & understand the truth (1 Timothy 1:6-7)

Lying

  • Lying is condemned in Scripture (Revelation 21:8) – Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44)
  • Damaging effects of lying – harm to others (1 Kings 13:8-10, 18-19, 23-24); false sense of security (Jeremiah 6:14)
  • How to keep from lying – appreciate the value of truth (Proverbs 23:23); remember that truth is what sets us free (John 8:32), lies keep us enslaved

Boasting

  • Elevating self, which also puts others down (either intentionally or unintentionally) – Christians are not to boast (2 Timothy 3:2), unless we boast in the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:31)
  • Damaging effects of boasting – division & envy (Galatians 5:26)
  • How to keep from boasting – learn humility (Philippians 2:3); strive to build up others first (Ephesians 4:29)

Gossip

  • Speaking things about others that should not be said, whether true or not – we must avoid this (Romans 1:29)
  • Damaging effects of gossip – division & strife (2 Corinthians 12:20)
  • How to avoid gossip – be busy, not a busybody (1 Timothy 5:13-14); practice the golden rule (Matthew 7:12)

Filthy Language

  • Filthiness in speech is not fitting for saints (Ephesians 5:4) – curse words, dirty jokes & stories
  • Damaging effects of filthy language – makes you appear to be no different than the world (Matthew 26:73-74)
  • How to avoid filthy language – keep your thoughts pure (Philippians 4:8)

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