Proper and Improper Speaking

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
James 3:1–5a
Proper and Improper Speaking
Sometimes very small parts of a machine wield great power. The rudder of a ship is very small, yet it controls the direction of huge ships. The teacher of the church teaches by way of his tongue. The Christian faith is given by the preaching of the Word of God. Teachers (actually teachers of God’s Word or preachers and pastors) are accountable to God for their teaching. They are pastors because they have been placed there by God. God picks sinners for this work. The words they use must always conform to the Holy Scriptures. They can’t come up with their own agenda. They preach and teach under the authority of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins. They must give the Church the Word of God. Though those words are small and seemingly insignificant, they accomplish great things by the work of the Holy Spirit to bring Jesus and his cross to God’s people. Thus God uses a very small member of the preacher’s body, the tongue, to boast of great and wonderful things. The tongue brings Jesus to the Church, to you!
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