Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 18, 1970

Sins Of The Tongue

Forrest Darrell Moyer

"Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell." (James 3:5.6)

The significance of the tongue is stated in this short quotation. Although small, it is capable of great evil — the whole person can be sent to hell because of sin of the tongue. Let us consider some of these sinful uses of the tongue.

I. Lying. "Lie not one to another. . ." (Col. 3:9). Some lies are deliberate, willful, and intentional perversion of the truth. The liar speaks with planned intent to deceive. This is the man without moral conviction. Perhaps more lies are careless — lies that are picked up and handed on without deliberate intent to lie. They may be careless and unintentional, but they are never innocent. One can be lost for unintentional lies even as for willful perversion. We should never pass something on to another without knowing the truth of the matter.

2. Gossip, slander, and speaking to the hurt of brethren. "Speak not evil one of another, brethren." (James 4:11). "But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be." (3:8-10). When you say things that bring another person down in the estimation of others, you are guilty of this evil-speaking under consideration. You may say, "Well, it is true." This does not give you the right to destroy your brother in the eyes of another. It must be remembered that every person has in the past done some things of which he is ashamed. What value is there in speaking of these before others? None.

Improper use of the tongue can cause one to be lost — his religion is in vain. (James 1:26).

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