Sticks and Stones
I. The LAY of the LAND
A. Born by the WORD to Grow in PERSEVERANCE (1:2-4, 17-21)
B. Our FAITH and the WORK of PERFECTION (1:22-25; 2:14-26)
C. The Wisdom of MERCY Forbids FAVOURITISM (2:1-13; 3:13-18)
II. The Power of the TONGUE (3:1-12)
A. The Power to DESTROY (3:3-6)
B. The Power to DEFILE (3:6, 10-12)
C. The Power to CREATE (3:6; Prov. 18:21)
III. TAMING the Tongue
A. SLOW DOWN! (1:19-20; Ecc. 5:2)
B. CREATE With CARE (3:6; Eph. 4:29)
C. Give God the FIRST and FINAL Word
(1:21; Col. 4:6; Heb. 1:1-2; John 1:1-3)
Questions for Further Reflection
1. Kids’ Question: When has someone’s words hurt you? When have you used your words to hurt someone else? Why do you think words are so hurtful?
2. What, if anything, in James has challenged you so far?
3. In which way is your tongue most liable to get you in trouble: lying, gossiping, cursing, or simply speaking without thinking how your words might impact others?
4. When have you experienced the power of the tongue to destroy?
5. Take an inventory of your speech (or maybe even an inventory of your social media posts that past couple of years). Since James says you can’t be both, are you a fresh water or salt water spring?
6. What “worlds” have been created in your life as a result of others’ words? It could be a world of body shame, of inadequacy, of fear, and on and on. Likewise, worlds of confidence, of hope, of grace, and of welcome could be created in your life as a result of others’ words.
7. What is your gut reaction when something negative happens to you? In what ways is your tongue involved? How can you slow down that reaction?
8. As one who bears the image of our Creator, what kind of worlds are you creating with your words?
9. How does the Word of God (Jesus) impact your own words?