Essential Guidelines For The Follower Of Christ Part 3

Today I will finish a three-part series on the Essential Guidelines for the Follower of Christ from James 1:19-27.

Essential Guideline #1 for the Christ-Follower – Watch yourself.  (James 1:19–21)

Essential Guideline #2 for the Christ-Follower – Watch your walk.  (James 1:22–25)

Today, we will cover guideline #3.  James 1:19-27 gives three essential guidelines for the follower of Christ.  As Christ-followers, we have guidelines that we must seek to live by and put into place.  These guidelines are crucial to our Christian walk, and we must stay focused on the essential guidelines, or they will no longer be essential.

Essential Guideline #3 – Watch your tongue.

 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.  Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

James 1:26–27, NLT

In our text before us, James is calling out to those who are Christ-Followers to control their tongue.

James introduces here what he will speak in length about in James 3.  In James 3, James tells the reader that the tongue is a small member of the body, but it makes big speeches, and its spark can set a forest on fire (v.5.)  It is full of deadly poison and evil, and no one can contain it (v.6-8.)  Have you ever seen something so small yet so powerful?

Rudyard Kipling said, “words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.”

I close with this illustration.

“Have you ever considered the awesome power of the spoken Word?  For instance:

Waiter: What’ll you have for dessert?

First Diner: Nothing for me.

Second Diner: I’m stuffed.

Third Dinner: Couldn’t eat another bite.

Waiter: It comes with the dinner.

First Diner: Ice cream.

Second Diner: Pecan pie.

Third Diner: Chocolate layer cake.[1]

[1] Roy B. Zuck, The Speaker’s Quote Book: Over 4,500 Illustrations and Quotations for All Occasions (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1997), 414.

Today’s takeaway is two-fold (1) get in the Word of God daily, and (2) watch yourself by watching your walk and your speech.

Dr. Draper Rogers is a pastor at Gardendale First Baptist Church. He is a contributor to The North Jefferson Herald and North Jefferson Magazine.