James – Tuesday, March 24
Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.
The ministry of teaching within the body of Christ requires strict accountability. There is the accountability of the teacher’s actions (Matthew 5:19), and also the accountability of the teacher’s words. The man who lives consistently with what he teaches (he practices what he preaches) and also chooses his words wisely will be amply rewarded.
The statement we all stumble in many ways demonstrates the grace that’s in this short epistle. It’s true; we all stumble in many ways, yet the Lord still loves us in Christ. Yet, we must particularly guard against stumbling others with our tongue.
The word “perfect” used in v. 2 is the Greek word teleios, which means to be complete, of full age, mature, fully grown in moral and mental moral character (Strong’s Dictionary).
The idea is that someone who controls his speech is a person who has achieved spiritual maturity. And if a person is able to control his speech, he will also be able to control all the rest of his fleshly appetites.
Daily Devotional Book • James Application Questions
1. What has been your idea of the meaning of spiritual maturity? How does this passage change your viewpoint?
2. Look up Ephesians 4:29. Now make two columns on a piece of paper. In column one, write a list of words which describe unwholesome speech or words. In column two, write a list of healthy, building up kinds of words.
3. Ask the Lord to help you be a column two type of person, and then practice it with those you’re around today.