Most of us remember the saying from our childhood, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” We know that statement is not true. Words can and do hurt.
You may be thinking of some words at this moment that were directed at you as a child, by a classmate, parent, sibling, teacher or someone else, that wounded you deeply, and they have gone with you even to this present day.
James, in his letter, is basically teaching believers about what maturity in our faith should look like. So far, we have learned about faith and wisdom (Chapter 1), faith and works (Chapter 2), and now we are going to learn about faith and words (Chapter 3). Much is revealed about a believer’s maturity by the words that they speak, and James deals with the meanest member of the body—the tongue, in James 3:1-12. May we all learn how to control our tongues, and speak words that encourage, rather than discourage, and build up the body of Christ.