Thursday, July 28, 2016

What Wisdom do you have?

James 3:13-18          
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Throughout the Bible there is a constant encouragement to seek wisdom. In fact the whole book of Proverbs is so full of these encouragements a blind man can miss it! For example, in 3:13,19, we are told that,
“Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding for the gain of her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold … The Lord by wisdom founded the earth, by understanding He established the heavens…”
Moreover, in Ephesians walking in wisdom is a mark of being spiritual life. See , 5:15-17;

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Eph. 5:15-17)
James in this passage helps to understand that there are two types of wisdom:
·         Wisdom that comes from above – Heavenly wisdom
·         Wisdom that is earthly/unspiritual/demonic
James goes on to compare these two types of wisdom in order that it may be clear what type of wisdom you ought to have. Because the Lord would not want anyone being deceived to believe that he has true faith when really he has spurious faith, in the same way, here pastor James shows what true wisdom is, in order that we may have nothing to do with earthly wisdom which is no wisdom at all. True faith produces true wisdom and the opposite is true.
1.      What is the origin of?
a.      Earthly wisdom
What does earthly(v. 15) mean? Negatively, it means that this wisdom is not from God, since it is from the earth. It is not from heaven. It is not eternal. It is temporary.
Positively identified, earthly wisdom means that it is according to the worldly standards and principles, in other words, it is false wisdom. Therefore, it is a wisdom that is limited in scope; this world is its boundaries. It begins and ends with this world. It is deficient of eternal perspective.
James’s point is obvious – worldly people may be cunning, clever and selfish and yet, at the same time think that they are being wise. Wisdom is reduced to a label that they use in order to sell, earthly wisdom. But the truth is that it is fake. A counterfeit product does not become genuine product simply because it picked up a label of a quality product.
He has already warned against many becoming teachers. When these people took up teaching positions in their churches for the wrong reasons and spoke in the wrong way, and taught the wrong things, with a selfish motive of impressing a man, if they appeared to succeed in the worldly terms, they were thinking like people of earth instead of people of heaven! This wisdom is foolishness to God. Therefore God asks these questions;
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (1Co 1:20-24)
Earthly is wisdom also sensual (v.15). The word ‘sensual’ refers to fleshly appetites, as the source of this wisdom.That is, it appeals to the flesh, to senses, emotions, lusts and passions that wage war against your souls. In James’ days, just like in our days, there were people who sought to reach the flesh rather than the heart in their teachings. Once again, James is very clear that there are those who are only seeking to gratify themselves, they think only of self and no one else.
Earthly wisdom ultimately comes from the devil’s factory. This is why pastor James, as carried along by the Holy Spirit, says it is ‘demonic’ (v.15). The devil is wise in a certain way. That is, he is opposed to the truths of God. He seeks to pervert what God has given by deceitful schemes and cunning. When we allow ourselves to be driven by false wisdom, we are allowing Satan to slip into the driver’s seat! Some seem to think that there is no way the devil can drive them. If they see him coming, they will just lock the doors! But the devil does not come to us as he is often portrayed, that is, as an ugly, ferocious creature, one-eyed, black monster with horns and arrow-sharp tail. As James says, he comes in the garb of wisdom.
b.      Heavenly wisdom
Heavenly wisdom comes from above (. 15, 17). Negatively, this wisdom does not come from men, and cannot be made on earth. This wisdom is neither from angels or demons nor is it from men. Positively, its source is heavenly. It originates coming from God. God is the author of all wisdom and He is the standard of wisdom.
Therefore, this wisdom comes from God and it is first and foremost about God our Saviour. Since it comes from God then it is eternal as opposed to the earthly wisdom which is temporary.
Ultimately, this wisdom is Christ, for we read,
but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Cor.1:24)
We must not think that knowing the origin of each of these types of wisdom, could be sufficient to help us to choose the right one – for we have no capacity to make such a choice. We depend on the Holy Spirit who applies the work of Christ to enable us to drink from this wisdom and live accordingly.
The point is when you find Christ, you find true, heavenly wisdom. He alone is the wisdom of God. For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things… (Col. 1:19-20).
2.      What is the nature of?
a)      Earthly wisdom
The nature of this earthly wisdom is given in verses 14 and 16 as;
·         Bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts…
·          Boasting and being false to the truth
·         Jealousy and selfish ambition exist…
False wisdom is exposed by its proud and selfish nature. Envying and strife are in conflict with the meekness of wisdom. The heart could not be the seat of both. Envy and wisdom cannot dwell together in the same heart. They are mutually exclusive in nature.
Notice the order – jealousy comes first and it excites strife. Strife excuses itself by boasting and lying or by being false to the truth. Effectively, this leads to confusion, disorder and vile practices of every kind. Surely, all these are from their father the devil whose iniquity was discovered in Him.
Finally, the nature of earthly wisdom is such that it upholds such things as money, position and power. Unless there is prestige and privilege this wisdom would not take responsibility and initiative since it is so self-seeking and proud. This is why it has already been pointed out that it is from the devil. We know that the devil rebelled against God in order to take position and power.
However, we are well instructed from the Scriptures to know that pride comes before the fall. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God so that in due course He may lift you up. Do not think a Christian can rear pride, malice or any vile practice. Christians bear the fruit of the Spirit as we’ll see shortly.
b)      Heavenly wisdom
We read from verse 17 that,
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
ü  It is first of all pure. Heavenly wisdom, above anything else, is not mixed with the corruptions of the world. It is not corrupted by sin and other pollutions of this world. It is pure, true and faithful to do God’s pleasure. Moral purity is an evidence of heavenly wisdom.
ü  Then it is peaceable. God’s wisdom, which comes through Christ who is the Prince of Peace, and that which is promoted by the gospel of peace delights and is founded on peace. Peace flows from purity. This wisdom is peaceable and promotes peace between individuals, families, churches, in the society and in nations. Peace is more than lack of strife – for absence of strife is calmness. Peace is only the work of God.
ü  Gentle. In other words, it is not harsh, argumentative, antagonistic or abrasive. It is reasonable and courteous. It is a product of the indwelling of the Spirit and so this gentleness, just like peace is part of the fruit is conspicuous, without drawing any attention to itself.
ü  Open to reason. In other words it is willing to yield and even to submit. It does not insist on its own way. It does not insist on personal rights but in humility counts the other person more significant than oneself. Heavenly wisdom is very easy to persuade with heavenly truth. It is persuaded, either to what is good or from what is evil.
ü  Full of mercy. Heavenly wisdom comes from the Father in heaven who is the Father of mercies. Therefore those who receive wisdom from Him also learn to show mercy and compassion to the needy. In other words, when the fear of the Lord comes so as to give wisdom, it will also come with love and care for those who are in the image of God (v.9). Christians care for the needy, that is the widows, the orphans and the aliens and in this way display that God indwells them, because He is God of compassion.
ü  Bearing good fruits. Inwardly it is disposed to everything that is kind and good. It is inclined both to relieve the needy,  to forgive those who offend, and actually to do this whenever proper occasions offer. This shows that heavenly wisdom is of God, produced with the fruit of the Spirit.
ü  Impartial. The original word employed here is ‘adiakritos’. It means to be without suspicion, or free from judging, or making neither undue assumptions nor differences in our conduct towards one person more than the other. Here is an exhortation to stop acting as dividers, and disputing and objecting merely for the sake of a party. It is an encouragement to stop all manner of censuring others purely on account of their differing from us. The wisest men are least apt to be censurers. This is what Pastor James has already condemned in 2:1-13 and has compared partiality with ‘blaspheming the glorious ones’. He said,
“If you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors (James 2:9).
ü  Sincere. Heavenly wisdom can fit no mask for it is without hypocrisy. It has neither disguises nor deceits. Instead it is sincere and open, steady and uniform, and consistent with itself. O that you and I may always be guided by such wisdom as this!

3.      What is the fruit?
a)      Earthly wisdom
Earthly wisdom bears confusion and disorder and rebellion (v.16) – For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.  
James has already torn the mask of wisdom from this imitation. Therefore in its nakedness it is carnal and devilish conduct, he shows it to be ἀκαταστασία which is not only mere disorder but the termination of order, that is anarchy and rebellion which must not be found among those under the rule of God because He is not God of confusion but of order and peace (1 Cor. 14:33). Confusion, disorder and rebellion is funded by the kingdom of darkness, from where this demonic wisdom comes.
Earthly wisdom also produces every vile practice. This is foul in an ethical sense. That is, wicked or an abomination. ‘Evil’ or ‘vile’ translates phaulon, an adjective marking the moral character of a person or activity. It is used in John 3:20 and Titus 2:8 to mean worthless or empty activity. James is concerned for the unity of the body, that is the church, and where unruly tongues and worldly wisdom reign the result will be selfishness, confusion, and the like.
Remember that this is James the peacemaker from Acts 15 and 21:18–25. He labored to keep the opposing parties together in Christ. It is that same spirit that breathes through this passage.[1]
This is the wisdom behind denominationalism and sectarianism and schisms. And it must be exterminated in the church of Christ by embracing heavenly wisdom.
b)      Heavenly wisdom
While verse 16 describes the evil fruits of worldly, spurious and devilish wisdom; verse 18 describes the harvest of true, godly wisdom. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
The structure of this sentence leaves room for a wide variety of possibilities and the English translations reflect that fact. One concern is how to render the genitive ‘of righteousness.’ Is it appositional: ‘the fruit which is righteousness’? Or is it subjective: ‘the fruit which righteous living produces’? [2]
Pastor James gives a summary of all he has been saying in terms of good works and peace, of a living and not a dead faith. A closer look will show a close relationship between righteousness and peace, which is not surprising because we know that he is writing to a people who were divided in terms of their social status, in terms of position and possession.
Therefore, by the mercies of God he implores them ‘to sow in peace’. And what James is saying is that a Christian’s life should consist of, habitually and continually, without getting tired, sowing the seed of peace. Those who love peace innately sow peace everywhere they go – in homes as well as in churches and in the society.  But they also will also reap a bountiful harvest of righteousness.
1.      Cast all hypocrisy to the cross of Christ. Pretend all you want, and think yourselves to be the wisest. However, your bitter envying and strife exposes you to be Mr. Worldly Wise. Even with your zeal for truth or orthodoxy, if you are constantly boastful about knowing more than others, you show yourself to be who you are – a child of the devil. If you employ these only to make others hateful, and to show your own spite and heart-burnings against them, then you are not a shame to the cause of Christ, you are just as a shame to yourself for being a fake, for such is downright contradiction of Christianity and her wisdom. However, there is hope for you, if you will repent to Christ and ask for His mercy.
2.      Teachers reveal by their tongues what kind of wisdom they possess. Self-appointed teachers, will not possess heavenly wisdom because God did not call them. Sooner rather than later, their selfish motives may lead them to cause factions and disorder. Genuine Christian teachers, however, called by God and filled with His Spirit, though not perfect, will be most concerned about truth and their example (good life and deeds, v. 13). They will sow in peace and produce a harvest of practical righteousness in men’s and women’s lives by means of their consistent teaching and example.
3.      Sober judgment, humility, impartiality and sincerity are necessary to show your wisdom. When informed by the Word of God, and controlled by the Holy Spirit you are likely to be peaceable. Clearly we are best able to be quick to hear and reason, and best able to speak in the heavenly wisdom, only if the Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord of our lives. Unless, we are led by the One who humbled Himself to the point of a servant even to death and death on a cross, then we cannot have His wisdom. Wisdom of Christ, who is the wisdom of God produces meekness, and meekness increases wisdom.
4.      Our Christian wisdom is likely to draw the attention of unbelievers. Thank God for the common grace that causes foolish unbelievers take notice of that which is good, true and beautiful. Therefore we have reason to believe that unbelievers will take note and will themselves desire to have the wisdom from God. And when they express that desire, we can point them to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is himself ‘the wisdom from God’ (1 Cor. 1:30). Jesus is God’s wise way of providing forgiveness of sins and eternal glory for all who receive him as their Lord and Saviour.

[1] Ellenburg, B. D., & Morgan, C. W. (2008). James: Wisdom for the Community (p. 135). Great Britain: Focus Christian Publications.
[2] Ellenburg, B. D., & Morgan, C. W. (2008). James: Wisdom for the Community (pp. 137–139). Great Britain: Focus Christian Publications.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Use your Tongue Appropriately to Showcase your Faith

James 3:1-12 
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

James very clearly spells out the hesitation that should be exercised before taking a teaching position (it is assumed in the church) among the brethren. He then takes a very serious view of the tongue which need to be true of all of who would take a teaching position and even every believer. Reading here, you will find out that verbal abuse epidemic has been in existence for a long time. The tongue which has the power to guide and control, is accused of so many evils in this passage – boasting of great things (v. 5); it is a world of unrighteousness and staining the whole body, and even leading the body to hell! (v.6). The tongue is also accused of being untamable, restless evil and deadly poison (v.8). Moreover, the tongue has the power to curse or bless people and God vv.9,10). For this reason, James gives a warning regarding becoming teachers and goes on to explain this on how we should use our tongues. Self-proclaimed teachers are addressed.
Note what Pastor James says; “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers…” He does not say, not any. Therefore, you should not read this verse and dismiss yourself from considering a Bible-teaching position in the church. Instead, when you read this verse, you should be warned from rushing into teaching without due consideration. He also does not say, not many of you should be teachers. While it is true to say that all must not be teachers, it should be acknowledged that women must not take Bible-teaching positions that would make them teach men or exercise authority over men. Moreover, even among the men, not all men should aspire to be teachers. Therefore, this passage is a rebuke of those who try to become teachers before they are ready. You must not make yourself a teacher! It is also a warning that many should not even become teachers ever!
It is a grave mistake to believe that everyone should become a public teacher at some point in their service to Christ. I am not saying that there is any Christian who can’t serve Christ. Rather, it is that there are those who have not been gifted to be public teachers but can serve the Lord elsewhere in His church. You see the church, like a body has many members, and all members do not have the same function. This is repeated again and again for the New Testament church (see. Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:12-31; 1 Pet. 4:10-11). We should definitely use the gifts that God has given us to serve in His church, but we must not use such gifts that we do not have. For the sake of Christ do not fake spiritual gifts of speaking or even assume that you’ve got them!
Why many should not become teachers:
1)      Teachers will be judged with greater strictness (v.1)
a)      There is an awful responsibility involved in teaching others.
You have to prepare in advance in order to prepare. Besides, having prepared you have to make sure that you call for God’s help and that you have got it before venturing into the public to teach. Then you have to be sure that you are edifying people. If no one is profited by your ministry, then you have no business taking a teaching position. This evaluation should be done by your spiritual leaders in the church. It is the responsibility of the pastors to equip the saints for the work of ministry.
b)      It is possible not only to lead people into truth in teaching, but also in error.
This is another reason why much diligence in preparation to preach it absolutely necessary. If you will not invest good amount of hours in preparation beforehand, and prayer, then you do not covet this teaching position in the church. It comes with the responsibility of not only teaching the truth, but of also refuting error. Error must not be propagated either presenting skewed or imbalanced truth or of exaggeration or joking. In addition, one has himself to demonstrate the truth that he preaches by living a life that is godly, dignified and exemplary. It is better not to teach at all than to be false teacher!
c)      Teachers will be held responsible for what they teach others.
We who teach will give an account to God. This is what the Lord told the elders in Hebrews 13:17 because every elder should be apt to teach (1 Tim. 3:2). All that one teaches people must be on conformity to the Word of God. Absolute carefulness need to be exercised before men while teaching, for one day each and every teacher will stand before God and he will be judged with a greater strictness (v.1).

We who teach have a responsibility to our hearers. We must deliver the truth of God to them for them to be edified. We must make sure that what we preach publicly and privately is followed and obeyed. This means that teaching responsibility in public is only the beginning. This private follow –up, leading to encouragement, exhortation, admonition, etc. is what demonstrates whether we taught people in order to be seen or out of the love of God and of people. God will find out what we did with our hearers at the end of our ministry.
2)      We all stumble in many things (v.2)
There is no doubt that pastors and teachers are not perfect men. They all have faults. Their faults include their communication abilities, even if they have been appointed to speak, they make mistakes even in their speaking! How many times have I spoken carelessly? Everyone has faults and with many people the improper use of the tongue is a big problem. However, we who teach, must endeavor to improve ourselves so that we become better teachers.
James is not discouraging anyone from trying to find out what is the area of gifting in order to serve the Lord. Rather you are to avail your gifts to the church and be tested, nurtured and matured to become a mature teacher of God’s Word, by your pastors and other mature Christians in the church.
It takes spiritual maturity not to stumble in the use of the words. This is because the ability to bridle the tongue is a mark of spiritual maturity – he is a perfect man, able to bridle his whole body. We should strive at this perfection, even though we know that it will be achieved at the point of glorification. Our sanctification is imperfect until when we see Christ face to face in glory.
1)      Illustrations
a)      Bridle/bits: Put in the mouths of the horses in order to obey us as we control and direct them. A simple small bit directs the whole body of the horse.
b)      Rudders for controlling large ships: Large ships driven by strong waves are guided by a small rudder according to the will of the pilot.
Bits and rudders are used to illustrate that a tongue, though a small member of the body controls the whole body. How does the tongue control the body?
Examples –
Negative: If you speak a lie, you will immediately try to live the lie in order to cover it up! If you flirt, you will be known to be immoral and so your own words define you!
Positive: When one uses his teaching abilities to edify the church, an army for the cause of Christ is built. The teachers of the word have, by faithful exposition of the Scriptures, ability to transform lives and churches for the glory of God.
c)      Small fire:
Pastor James simply employs two figures of speech called metaphor and hyperbole respectively to describe the tongue when he says “… the tongue is a fire…setting on fire the entire course of life.” The point is that just as a flickering cigarette stub can set the whole Mt. Kenya forest on fire when it is dry, so it is with the tongue. Who doesn’t know that a lose tongue can ruin one’s reputation? Tongues have destroyed ministers and ministries. Families have been divided by tongues. Companies have been completely devastated. Friendships have not been spared by tongues.
It is for this reason that James does not spare phrases to describe the challenges posed by tongues;
i) A tongue is a fire (v.6)
ii) A tongue is a world of unrighteousness (v.6)
iii)    A tongue is set among our members (v.6)
iv)    A tongue stains the whole body (v.6)
v)  A tongue sets on fire the entire course of life (v.6)
vi)   A tongue is itself set on fire by hell! (v.6)
vii)  A tongue is a restless evil (v.8)
viii) A tongue is full of deadly poison (v.8)
Why can’t we harness this potency in the tongue to destroy and defile both ourselves and others for the glory of God and good of man, instead? The tongues is such an important and power equipment that God gave us, so that we may serve Him and His people. Yet at the same time it has such a capacity to cause evil and wickedness. Therefore, with the help of our Helper the Holy Spirit, we should strive to make sure that this member is well controlled so that it does good rather than evil.
2)      The difficulty of taming the tongue
Domestication of wild animals: James once again compares the tongue with wild animals and he concludes that it is easier to domesticate a beast, a bird, a reptile or a sea creature than to tame a tongue – in other words, no creature is harder to tame than one simple organ of the body called tongue! You see, while man has been able to tame and domesticate these animals, yet he is completely unable to tame his own tongue for he says, “… no human being can tame the tongue” (v. 7-8).
What James is saying is that unless you call for God’s help, by your own effort and skills, you will be defeated by your own tongue. Why don’t you call to God for help like David did when he prayed in Psalm 141:3?
Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!
Inconsistency with the use of the tongue: Pastor James once again has made good observations in dealing with people and so very concerned for true faith producing true religion, writes in verses 9-10;
With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
Is it not shocking how inconsistent we are with our tongues? You are here now, quiet in worship, reading or listening to a sermon about your tongue but later on you could be angry and throw words at your own son? You sing here and praise the Lord, yet at the slightest provocation you lash out at your spouse. This inconsistency is frightening so that we should be more fervent in prayer that the Lord may help us to use our members not as instruments of unrighteousness (Rom. 6:13).
The question worthy considering now is,
Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
With these three illustrations, James presents to us what the Lord Jesus taught. That the mouth speaks from the abundance of the heart (Matt. 7:20-23). For what comes from a person is a true indication of the condition of the heart.
Therefore, despite how much we sing and praise the Lord, what really shows what you are really made of is the curses and insults that you hurl at the people that He has made in His image. Ultimately, the truth is that the pollution of our tongue is what prevails over any sweetness or blessings we may have.
You see if there were two springs, one fresh and clean and the other salty and dirty and they finally flow into the same pond, the polluted spring will pollute the fresh one and the water in the pond will not be termed as fresh anymore! It is polluted and no one would want to drink it. This is what he already said, that the tongue is always in the camp of the devil, the enemy and has to be on the spiritual leash always. It has to be tamed by the Holy Spirit in us for it to bear a good fruit.
1.      Would you learn to speak more responsibly from today?
The brothers that Pastor James was writing to were persecuted. So how was this section an encouragement to them? He was seeking to help them to desist from complaining, retorting, cursing their persecutors, or any manner of reviling and railing. It could be that they were criticizing, backbiting and slandering each other. It might be that they were lying to the authorities in order to escape the persecution and punishment.
Whatever it is that they were doing with their tongues that, was dishonoring God, had to stop. Christians have to speak as God has instructed in His Word. In the same way, we are to stop all these tongue sins and instead learn what God says in His Word;
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil…Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear… Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Eph. 4:25-27, 29, 31-32)
2.      Repent of your past carelessness and inconsistency?
You cannot be rid of the past unless you bring it to the cross of Christ. He alone is able to cut that knot. I as a preacher,  must not say or think that I am clean or immune from the problem of the tongue. This is because James includes himself when he says that, we all stumble in many things.
You also have sinned in this matter of speaking wrongly as much as I have if not even more! While sinful speaking is sinful, yet there is mercy and pardon for a repenting sinner. The Lord calls us to go to Him we who are weary and heavy laden with sin and guilt and He will forgive us and give us rest.
Repentance is a change of heart leading to a change in the course of action. Therefore, we have to admit that our irresponsible and inconsistent talking has to come to an abrupt end. It cannot continue – these things ought not to be so (v.10). This change cannot only be wrought by the Holy Spirit our teacher and Helper. He will sanctify us and present us blameless.
Thankfully, Christ receives sinful men. He forgives slanderers and gossips. Jesus receives into His fold even blasphemers and liars. Those who complain can be forgiven now by Christ. Go to Him this evening and be cleansed from all filthiness from your mouth.