Welcome to week seven of our summer sermon series on James called Faith that Works. This week our conversation centers on the tongue. Only 1/1200 of our body—yet the words that come from it have a major impact. We can’t fully tame the tongue, but we can learn to do more good and less damage.
Building healthy and life-giving relationships.
What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20–30 minutes checking in with each other.
Share part of your story
How did you celebrate July 4th this year?
What relationship do you want prayer for?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Read together James 3:1-12. Who is James writing to? How do you think the people received what he wrote?
What does James say about teachers? Why is it important for people who influence others to be held to a higher standard?
How can we pray for our pastors and others who teach or influence?
What does James say about those who can control their tongue? How is being able to control our speech a sign of maturity?
If someone had to judge your maturity based on your speech, what do you think they would conclude?
Like a bit in the mouth of a horse or a rudder on a ship, our tongue can direct our life. In what ways does your tongue direct your life?
What does Proverbs 12:18 say about the tongue of the wise? What are some ways we can use our tongue for good?
How have the words of others blessed, healed, brought life or lifted you up?
We all have people we see on a regular basis. Who do you regularly talk to? What are some specific ways you can use your words to bless and encourage them?
What does Proverbs 12:18 say about the words of the reckless? How can words do that?
Do you think our culture is becoming more or less damaging with our words? Why?
How have harsh and thoughtless words of others cut, burned and hurt you?
How have you used words to hurt, cut and damage others? What can you do to bring restoration and healing to those you have hurt with your words?
We are challenged to:
- Refuse to grumble, whine and complain.
- Rigorously remove gossip from our life.
- Beware of harsh and angry words.
Which of these three areas do you struggle with the most? When or where do you struggle with it the most? What can you do to improve in that area?
Be on Guard
What does James say about taming the tongue in James 3:7-8? What point do you think he is trying to get across?
What are practical ways we can seek to tame and control our tongue so that we speak more blessing and less cursing?
This week we discussed taming our tongue and our speech. We can either use our speech to do good or to damage. We must also be on guard in taming our tongue. What’s one step you want to take this week to use your speech for good?
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
Discuss how you and your group can better engage the people in your life outside your small group.
Summer is a great time to bring others into your group. A social gathering is a low-pressure situation to invite someone to check out your group. Though it can be easy to be comfortable with the way the group is, we should consider giving up a bit of short-term comfort to add someone new. Think through all of your social circles. Who needs what your group has? Could this be a good time to invite them to your group?
Download a printable PDF here.