Meditation Commentary on James 3:1-4

 

1My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. 2For 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. 3Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. 4Look also at ships: although they are so large and driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.

 

The English poet, Thomas Gray once said, “…ignorance is bliss.” This phrase is used quite frequently around Verity, usually in a humorous tone regarding the rules we must abide by. While meditating upon the first verse of James chapter three, this is the first thought that came into my head. According to this verse, when it comes to the judgment we will receive, ignorance truly is bliss (in a sense). God’s judgment will be stricter on those who know more about Him, than those who are more ignorant.

            Growing up in a Christian home, in ATI, with Godly teaching, I believe that I fall into the category of “teacher” that is spoken of in this verse. The word “teacher” comes from the Greek word, “didaskalos,” which means “an instructor.” Most all, if not every Verity student also falls into this group. Six out of seven days a week, whether at Chapel or church, we receive incredible training in God’s Word and in His ways. This leaves none of us with any excuse whatsoever not to be sharing Him with others. One of my concerns is that we sometimes become like the Dead Sea; stagnate and unfruitful. The reason that the Dead Sea is in its current state, is because water always flows in, but does not flow out. As Christians, when we continually receive Godly teaching, but do not invest this teaching in the lives of other people, we also become stagnate.

            Verses two thorough four speak of the tongue and how important is for us to have control over the things that we say. These verses bring to mind another saying, often used by little children when upset with one another: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” If you are ever looking for an example of a fallacy, this phrase is a perfect fit. According to the Bible, the tongue is one of the greatest controllers of the body. It is such a small member, while being one of the most powerful members! Only through God’s power will we have control over our words.

            This passage has raised a number of questions for me personally: As a Christian, am I giving as much as I am getting? Am I investing sufficient time in the lives of other people? Do I have control over my tongue and my actions?

 

By Zachary Childers