The Application of Wisdom: Speech (Part 1)

Notes on Proverbs

The next area of application has to do with our speech. Exercising wisdom is not just about what we do, but includes those things which we speak.

Excellent speech is not fitting for a fool, much less are lying lips to a prince” (17:7).

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Sins of the Tongue

Statues Talking

When James discussed the use of the tongue (James 3:1-12), he made three basic points:

  1. One who can bridle the tongue can bridle the whole body as well: “For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well” (James 3:2).
  2. The tongue is small, but powerful: “Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire…” (James 3:3-6).
  3. The tongue cannot be tamed: “For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison” (James 3:7-8).

In making these points, James taught a few lessons. Though sin is common among men (James 3:2), we are to strive to avoid the sins of the tongue. Furthermore, it is important that we avoid these sins because of the great amount of damage that can be done through them. Yet James said we cannot tame the tongue after telling us to control the tongue in order to avoid sin. Is this a contradiction? No, it is not.
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Dealing with Threats to Unity within a Local Church

Recently I’ve preached  a few lessons about things that threaten unity within a local church. The outlines have been posted on my other site – DIY Sermon Outlines. Below is a list with links to the various lessons in that series.
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