Today I start James 3 where the first 10 verses focus on the disaster waiting to happen that is ‘our tongues’. The first 2 verses start this conversation with calling out the ministry that stands to be most impacted by this wild member of the body -> Teachers of the Word.
1 NOT MANY [of you] should become teachers (self-constituted censors and reprovers of others), my brethren, for you know that we [teachers] will be judged by a higher standard and with greater severity [than other people; thus we assume the greater accountability and the more condemnation]. 2 For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things. And if anyone does not offend in speech [never says the wrong things], he is a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and to curb his entire nature. James 3:1-2
James’ warning about venturing into the teaching ministry is clear. Those who answer this call should not do it frivolously or speedily. There are other passages in God’s Word where much is required from those who much is given. I have the utmost respect for those who have been called into the teaching ministry and because of the risk the tongue poses to those who are having to continually open their mouths. Even in leadership positions this is an occupational hazard. This is a great reminder to apply this passage squarely to my own life in regard to my place in the church, my job as a father, and being a husband.
I love this quote from the Tyndale Commentary on James 3:1-2. “So difficult is the mouth to control, so given is it to uttering the false, the biting, the slanderous word, so prone to stay open when it were more profitably closed, that the person who has it under control surely has the ability to conquer other, less unruly, members of the body.” It is so on the mark even though it is put in the positive tone.