Stranger In Speech Study Guide

Stranger In Speech Study Guide

Words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness” – Mother Teresa

James 3:2-12
For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh. (NKJV)

  • What does James compare our tongue to in verse 4?
    • We often think that our words don’t matter all that much today, but how does this passage contradict that thought?
  • Has your “spring” been sending out both fresh and bitter water?
    • Ask the Lord to give you a different perspective on the power of your words and how you speak to and about others.
  • Pray: “Lord let my spring yield fresh water today. Let my speech be with grace, seasoned with salt.” (Col. 4:6)

Philippians 2:14-16
14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. (NKJV)

  • According to this passage, how can we become blameless in the midst of a crooked generation?
    • How often do you find yourself complaining about things throughout the day?
      • Based on this passage, why is this a bigger deal than we often think it is at first?
  • Take a few minutes and ask the Lord to help you with your attitude today. Determine to have an attitude of gratitude no matter what happens.
    • Challenge: Try to go this entire day without complaining about anything. If you do say something negative, follow it with something positive. See the difference it makes in your day.

Proverbs 20:19
19 A gossip reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a babbler. (NRSV)

  • What does this verse call those who gossip?
    • Why do you think we often have a lighter view of gossip as almost a “lesser sin”?
      • Do you think just listening to gossip is harmful?
  • What are some steps you can take to make sure you are not gossiping yourself, as well as helping others not to participate in it?

Ephesians 4:29-32
29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. 30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. (NLT)

  • How much does it mean to you when people say nice and encouraging words to you?
    • What are some ways that you can be encouraging to the people around you today?
      • How do you think we bring sorrow to the Holy Spirit with our words sometimes?
  • Based on verse 32, why are we able to be kind and forgiving to one another?

Proverbs 18:19-21
19 A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle. 20 A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; from the produce of his lips he shall be filled. 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (NKJV)

  • Have you experienced the truth of verse 19 in your own life?
    • What does this say to you about how important it is to guard what we say to each other?
  • What do you think it means that death and life are in the power of the tongue?
    • Reflection: Are you using your tongue to speak more life or death?
  • Take some time today to ask the Lord to forgive you for when you’ve used your tongue for cursing instead of blessing. Offer your mouth to God and ask Him to help you use your words in a powerful way to speak life and blessing to those in your life. Prayer to pray: Psalm 19:14.


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