The Tongue [Part Two]


 In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 11 Does a spring [fountain, NASB] of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? 12 Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.




We are talking about the tongue which James describes in detail: The Tongue Is:
  1. A very small part of the body but it boast of great things.
  2. A flame [blow torch] set on fire by hell.
  3. A force that cannot be tamed.
  4. A restless evil, full of deadly poison.
  5. A fountain that bring forth whatever is in the heart.

We all sin and come short of the glory and perfection we see in Jesus. We have all done things and said things that hurt other people. Any person who denies this is calling God a liar [1 John 1:10]. James said, We all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. So the fact is, we have made many mistakes with our tongue and not all of them were malicious; some were just careless. One of our problems is denial: we see the sins of others but we don’t see our own, especially as it relates to the tongue. This is not a new problem. Tonight we are going to look at the sins of the tongue as described in Proverbs. Many of these are also mentioned in the N.T.

  1. GOSSIP [to murmur or whisper, to be spacious, to be open, wide open: Webster–casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.
    • Moses [Lev. 19:16] Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people.
    • David [Ps. 41:6] They visit me as if they were my friends, but all the while they gather gossip, and when they leave, they spread it everywhere.
    • Proverbs 11:13– A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.
    • Proverbs 16:28– A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.
    • Proverbs 17:4– Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip; liars pay close attention to slander.
    • Proverbs 20:19–A gossip goes around telling secrets, so don’t hang around with chatterers. [NASB–
      He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, Therefore do not associate with a gossip.
    • Proverbs 25:10–Others may accuse you of gossip, and you will never regain your good reputation.
    • Proverbs 26:20–Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.
    • Paul [2 Cor. 12:20]–For I am afraid that when I come I won’t like what I find, and you won’t like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior.
  2. SLANDER [the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation]
    • Psalms 15:1-3–O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart. He does not slander with his tongue.
    • Proverbs 10:18–He who conceals hatred has lying lips, And he who spreads slander is a fool.
    • Isaiah 32:7–As for a rogue, his weapons are evil; He devises wicked schemes to destroy the afflicted with slander.
  3. LYING [to make  deliberate untruthful; deceitful and false statements such as propaganda]
    • Proverbs 6:7–Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood.
    • Proverbs 12:19–Truthful lips will be established forever, But a lying tongue is only for a moment.
    • Proverbs 21:6–The acquisition of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor, the pursuit of death.
    • Proverbs 26:28–A lying tongue hates those it crushes, and a flattering mouth works ruin.
  4. FLATTERY [Overly complimentary, excessive praise]
    • Psalms 12:2–They speak falsehood to one another; With flattering lips and with a double heart they speak.
    • Psalms 12:3–May the LORD cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that speaks great things.
    • Proverbs 7:21–With her many persuasions she entices him; With her flattering lips she seduces him.
    • Proverbs 26:28–A lying tongue hates those it crushes, and a flattering mouth works ruin.
  5. TALEBEARER [A person who spreads gossip or confidential information causing unnecessary harm]
    • Proverbs 11:13–He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is trustworthy conceals a matter.
  6. BACKBITTING [A person who is looking for a safe place, away from the presence of the one they are talking about: malicious talk about someone who is not present]
    • Proverbs 25:23–The north wind brings forth rain, and a backbiting tongue, an angry countenance
    • Psalms 75:4–“I said to the boastful, ‘Do not boast,’ And to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up the horn.
    • Proverbs 27:1–Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.
    • Jeremiah 9:23-24–Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises loving kindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.
    • Romans 1:29–They were filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 
    • 2 Timothy 3:1-5–But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

Dishonorable Mentions

  1. Innuendo–an allusive or oblique remark or hint, typically a suggestive or disparaging one.
  2. Exaggeration–a statement that represents something as better or worse than it really is. An overstatement or magnification.
  3. Profanity–blasphemous or obscene language. Swearing, filthy or foul language, cursing blasphemy, irreverence, disrespect and sacrilege.