James 3:8 - We Need Christ For Speech Control.

James 3:8 (KJV) But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly 
evil, full of deadly poison.  

The believers James wrote to were having problems with their 
tongues (1:26; 2:12; 4:1, 11-12). Of course, the tongue is not the 
problem; it is the heart (v. 14; Matt. 12:35-37). But before you say 
anything, ask yourself a question. Who is in control? If your tongue is 
under God's control, you will take what you say seriously (v. 1), and 
your whole body will be under His discipline (v. 2). Just as a horse 
needs a rider holding the reins, and a ship needs a pilot at the 
rudder, so your tongue needs a master; and God is the only one who can 
do the job. Psalm 141:1-4 is a good prayer if you need help in this 
area. [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe re James 

A prepared heart (1-3, 23) is a heart that receives God's truth 
and submits to God's will. Since the mouth speaks what the heart has 
treasured up, the Lord can guide your words when your heart is prepared 
(Matt. 10:19-20). A proud heart (5, 18-19) is a heart full of pride and 
pride is one sin that God especially hates. It leads to all kinds of 
trouble and robs you of the blessing of the Lord. If your heart is not 
devoted to God's purposes, then it will lead you astray (7, 9, 25). Take 
time to think and pray, meditate on the Word, and make your plans; 
and then trust the Lord to guide you. No wonder Proverbs 4:23 is in 
God's Word! Are you heeding it? [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary 
by Warren Wiersbe re Pro.16] 

One of the more visible ways Christians represent Jesus is 
through their words. It has been said that a person speaks about thirty 
thousand words in an average day. That is a considerable amount of 
"representation time"--especially when you consider the power of 
the spoken word. 
 Your words have the power to build up or to destroy, help or hurt, 
encourage or discourage. The tongue is small but can do great damage 
(James 3:6). [The One Year Bible for New Believers re Pro. 20:19] 

Ever said something you regretted? Ever let slip a word or two 
that caused great hurt to someone? Then you know firsthand the power 
of the tongue. Like the bit in the horse's mouth, the rudder on the 
ship, the tiny spark--small things can have enormous power. The tongue 
is proportionately a small part of a body, but it can do great 
damage if it's not under control!  We need help from God to speak 
wisely. All types of speech, both out in the world and in our own homes, 
need to be brought under Christ's control. Why? Because the tongue is 
"a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body." It is 
"restless and evil, full of deadly poison." Sounds pretty bad, doesn't it? 
 So what can you do? Think before you speak. Consider if what 
you're going to say is loving or helpful in any way. If not, keep your 
mouth shut--or find another way to say it. Ask God to help you speak 
carefully and wisely. [The One Year Bible for New Believers re Jam. 

Diligent heart-keeping is essential to a healthy growth in 
grace. The heart in its natural state is a habitation for unholy 
thoughts and sinful passions. When brought into subjection to Christ, it 
must be cleansed by the Spirit from all defilement....... In the work of 
heart-keeping we must be instant in prayer, unwearied in petitioning the 
throne of grace for assistance..... The Saviour has told us to pray 
without ceasing. The Christian can not always be in the position of 
prayer, but his thoughts and desires can always be upward. They should 
cultivate a love for meditation, and cherish a spirit of 

The heart must be renewed by divine grace, or it will be in vain 
to seek for purity of life. He who attempts to build up a noble, 
virtuous character independent of the grace of Christ is building his 
house upon the shifting sand. In the fierce storms of temptation it 
will surely be overthrown.... Those who would not fall a prey to 
Satan's devices must guard well the avenues of the soul; they must avoid 
reading, seeing, or hearing that which will suggest impure thoughts. The 
mind should not be left to wander at random upon every subject that 
the adversary of souls may suggest... This will require earnest prayer 
and unceasing watchfulness. We must be aided by the abiding 
influence of the Holy Spirit, which will attract the mind upward, and 
habituate it to dwell on pure and holy things. And we must give diligent 
study to the word of God.  PP460 

To keep your heart in heaven, will give vigor to all your 
graces, and put life into all your duties. To discipline the mind to 
dwell upon heavenly things, will put life and earnestness into all our 
endeavors... As exercise increases the appetite, and gives strength and 
healthy vigor to the body, so will devotional exercises bring an 
increase of grace and spiritual vigor. The affections should center upon 
God. Contemplate His greatness, His mercy and excellences. Let His 
goodness and love and perfection of character captivate your heart. 

As God works upon the heart by His Holy Spirit, man must 
cooperate with Him. The thoughts must be bound about, restricted, 
withdrawn from branching out and contemplating things that will only 
weaken and defile the soul..... By beholding we are to become changed, 
and as we meditate upon the perfections of our divine Model, we 
shall desire to become wholly transformed and renewed in the image of 
His purity. There will be a hungering and thirsting of soul to be 
made like Him whom we adore. The more our thoughts are upon Christ, 
the more we shall speak of Him to others, and represent Him to the 
world. 3BC1145 

Have you ever watched an icicle form? Did you notice how the 
dripping water froze, one drop at a time, until the icicle was a foot 
long or more? If the water was clean, the icicle remained clear and 
sparkled brightly in the sun; but if the water was slightly muddy, the 
icicle looked cloudy, its beauty spoiled. Our character is formed in 
like manner. Each thought or feeling adds its influence. Each 
decision we make - both great and small - contributes its part. 
Everything we take into our minds and souls - impressions, experiences, 
images, or words - helps create our character. At all times, we must be 
aware of the "droplets" we allow to drip into our lives. Acts that 
develop habits of hate, falsehood, and evil-intent mar and eventually 
destroy us - but habits born of love, truth, and goodness silently mold 
and fashion us into the image of God. [God's Little Devotional