-The works of teaching, the taming of the tongue, and the attitude of the heart are the main emphasis in chapter three as James continues to give advice on the working out aspects of our faith in practice. Not many should become teachers because they will incur a stricter judgment (James 3:1). In the same respect, to whom much is given, much is expected (Luke 12:48). Therefore, if you are called to teach and lead others, do so, but do it with fear and reference as unto the Lord, not out of selfish ambition. *Application* Having an administration in the house of God is a vital calling and one that should not be taken lightly as we see here in this short, but powerful verse. The judgment of God is on those who lead people’s souls if they do not do it well. This should humble us and make us astutely aware of the consequences of not managing the people of God in a manner worthy of our calling. However, as the Scripture says, “If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task (1 Timothy 3:1).”
-The tongue is a small member in proportion to our entire body, but it directs the course of our life in many respects as words coming pouring out of it directly from the intentions of the heart (Luke 6:45). We can speak life or death in any given situation. Our words should display good fruit because so much damage can come from an uncontrolled mouth. The only One who can tame it is Christ Jesus working through His Holy Spirit to produce in us the peaceful fruit of righteousness in blessing rather than restless evil and deadly poison in curses (James 3:2-12). *Application* Think about what you say. Obey the Holy Spirit and guard your tongue. Instead of reacting to things that frustrate, anger, and agitate you, respond with the love of the Lord and be guided by His mind in you (1 Corinthians 2:16). Lord forgive us when we speak death rather than life. It happens way too often if we care to admit it.
-The wise and understanding will conduct himself in meekness rather than jealousy and selfish-ambition from the heart in boasting and falseness to the truth (James 3:13-14). Jealousy and selfish-ambition is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic wisdom, which leads to disorder and every evil practice (James 3:15-16). On the other hand, the wisdom that comes from above (God) is pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, and sincere. It produces a harvest of righteousness, which is sown in peace by those who make peace (James 3:17-18). *Application* Jesus said that the peacemakers will be called the sons of God (Matthew 5:9). Making peace in a fallen world is hard work and cannot be done without the work of the Holy Spirit within us as we yield to Him. There is a certain humility in this that is supernatural. It comes only from above and we must not stand in His way. Go with the Spirit’s promptings and make peace in Godly wisdom. Resist the natural temptation to be envious, jealous, and selfish in your life.
Verses to memorize: James 3:1, 5, 16-17