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The Trouble With Words

March 4, 2018 Speaker: Floyd Morgan Series: Faith That Works

Passage: James 3:1–12

Community Group Discussion Questions:
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Read James 3:1-12 together as a small group and then work through the following questions:

  1. In verses 1-2, we find two reasons why “many should not become teachers”. What are these reasons? Why do you think James started this dialog on the tongue using this warning?
  2. As you examine the context and theme of the epistle of James, what do you sense is the primary reason(s) for many not being teachers? Is it a doctrinal (theological) concern, or a character (heart issue), or both? Why?
  3. In verse 2 James states that if a man can control his tongue he can control his whole body as well. Why would that be true?
  4. In verses 3-4, we have two examples of the “smallness” of the tongue guiding or directing our entire body (actions). Discuss how our words guide our actions.
  5. Verse 6 gives us an illustration of the tongue being like a spark that sets a forest ablaze. How have we personally learned this principle in our lives? Share some personal experiences where our words have caused some damage. Share some personal experiences where our words have blessed others.
  6. In verses 7-8, we find that we can’t subdue the tongue by ourselves. How can we find strength to control the tongue and our entire body?
  7. Discuss this definition of gossip and how we can implement this principle into our daily lives.

“To gossip means to betray a confidence or to discuss unfavorable personal facts about another person with someone who is not a part of the (1) problem or its (2) solution.”

  1. From the verses below, discuss how we can use our speech to glorify God.
  • Psalm 141:3
  • Proverbs 15:1-2, 4, 28
  • Proverbs 17:27-28
  • Proverbs 21:23
  • Ephesians 4:29
  • Colossians 4:6
  1. In verses 9-12 we find James echoing some of the words of Jesus found in the Sermon on the Mount. Read Matthew 7:13-23 and discuss why this might be true. Why do you think James is now giving the illustrations of the water and trees?

Prayer exercise: Spend time thanking God for his faithfulness even when we haven’t always been faithful. Ask God to season our words with grace so that we can give life to others through the words we say. Thank the Lord for using us, and our words to glorify Him and make an eternal difference!

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