Effectual Speech

James 1: 26         (NIV)

If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

The New Living Translation of this verse is even more direct. It reads, “If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.”

That is straight forward but it sounds a bit harsh. James is trying to get across to us just how important the words of our mouth are. You cannot have an effectual religion and an unsaved mouth. That is just how it is. In this chapter James is writing about being an effectual doer of the word. He then says you cannot accomplish this if you cannot tame your tongue. 

There are many scriptures in the Bible about the words we speak. It seems to me that in this passage, James effectively refers to the body of verses about the tongue saying to us that you have heard all of these verses but still you let your mouth wander off in any direction it chooses. He tells us that we will never attain to effectual faith if we don’t once and for all get a bridle on our tongues. He wants to wake us up to the power of the tongue.

We must first grasp the importance of this and then learn how we are to use words in our everyday lives. If we do not, James says our religion is worthless. I do not want my faith to be of no use and I am sure you do not either. Let us examine the words we speak. Let us begin to guard the words of our mouth jealously. Let us draw together with a determined purpose; to focus our attention on the words of our mouths and help each other to have victory in this most important area.