James continues on in Verse 2, saying: “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” That’s a great standard there, isn’t it…
The perfect man, he says, is one who doesn’t make a mistake or foster an offense with his words. There are very few who both walk closely with God and inoffensively with men.
James has been speaking here to those who take upon themselves the mantle of teaching. In this regard, he is issuing a warning that we all are liable to commit error. We all are apt to stumble and that this should make us cautious in seeking an office where an error would be likely to do so much injury.
If anywhere the improper use of the tongue will do mischief, it is in the realm of preaching. How many false doctrines are borne of an ill-kept tongue? How many bad theologies have tainted good people for generations?
All that said, you don’t have to be a speaker to be able to offend with the tongue! We are all capable of letting that little thing get us into trouble
In James Chapter 1:19-20, & 26, he says:
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God… If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.”
That’s some powerful stuff! If one seems holy but can’t keep a hold of his tongue, that man is in danger of failing the faith! His is a weak testimony for the Lord! His is a loose walk with the Lord!
Someone who does well to watch is words and his works however is one who does well by God. Such is a man who can be seen as a sincere believer.Someone who is trustworthy and upright.
With this bold declaration, James here has laid the groundwork for where he goes next…
“The Power of the Tongue” continues next time…
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