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LESSON 25: OVERCOMING THE POWER OF THE TONGUE (MOTHERS’ DAY)

Topic: Overcoming the Power of the Tongue (MOTHERS’ DAY)
Text:  James 3:3-11, Proverbs 17:27, Colossians 4:6

Objective: To lead each learner to use sound speech for the building up others, family, church, and the society.

Memory Verse: Proverbs 17:27: Those who are sure of themselves do not talk all the time. People who stay calm have real insight.

Introduction
The tongue is a very powerful part of the body and can do many things.  Just like fire, the tongue is a good servant, but a very bad master.  If one can control his speech, he will be a very good person. In this lesson, we will study to see what the tongue can do with the power it has and how we can put such power under control.
   
1. Understanding the Power of the Tongue (Jas. 3:1-6).

a) The Tongue’s Power to Direct Its Owner: The Bible tells us that the tongue is too powerful and difficult to be tamed. The tongue can control the one who has it to do harm to others and to himself. The Bible compares the little tongue in our mouths with bits that are put in the mouth of a horse. Such a small piece of iron helps one to control that whole animal and one can take the animal and turn it right and left to go where ever one wants. 

Another comparison is that of a ship, a large carrier that moves in the sea, transporting people and very heavy cargo.   As large as the ship is, almost like a little village, it is steered and led in all directions necessary only with a small stick called the rudder. Just like the bit in the horse’s mouth and the rudder that directs the ship, your tongue or speech can lead you to any direction it wants. It can lead you to eternal death.

b) The Power of the Tongue to Destroy the Owner: The tongue is compared in its destruction with fire.  Fire puts down very big forests; the tongue puts down a big society and tears the church apart. Where people gossip, slander, quarrels, deceive, or lie, is a place of unrest. Such activities of the tongue bring hatred, misunderstanding, and even death. 

c). The Tongue Deceives Its Owner:  When we praise God, we are bringing forth very good water in comparison to a spring.  But it is a contradiction, if with the very mouths, we curse people. Our tongue deceives us.  We think that we are great in the Lord, in our praises to Him, but if we do not continue to bless every one in our speech, but turn to curse some of the people, we are deceiving our selves. While we engage in speaking the truth and nothing else, we must remember that it is not good for us to speak anyhow or at anytime.  When a woman does not control her tongue, she destroys her own house with her mouth.  We must practice to hold our peace and not talk carelessly. We must be prepared to answer wisely any one who comes against us in speech. We must pray for God’s power so that we overcome temptation of the evils of the tongue (Ph. 4:13).

d). Separate from Evil Speakers:  Some people may not use their tongues in an evil manner, but are easily led away by friends who are already victims of the wrong use of the tongue.  If you have that kind of a friend, do not join such a one to do evil with him. Luke 3:14 says, we should not accuse people falsely.

e). Stop Listening to Accusing Tongues: The Bible, in Revelation 12:10 refers to the enemy as “the accuser of the brethren”. He controls the tongues of some of us to accuse, condemn and criticize others. (Discuss types). We are also warned in not to entertain accusations against elders or pastors (I Tim. 5:19). It is grievous. We are encouraged to feel good about ourselves as long as we are doing our best according to God’s Word. Stop listening to such tongues!

Application
The tongue can indeed be a good slave as well as a bad master. How do you use your own? May God grant you the grace to use it for His glory alone.

Questions
1. Discuss the evils that the tongue can do on people.
2. Discuss how we can avoid using our tongues for evil.
of the priesthood in parts of the Christian church. The root word “minister” refers to one who has an important place in a position in a particular department or is specialized in a specific rank or office. It is also to a priest in a particular part of the Christian Church.

The two words, role and ministry, can be combined under these questions. What place, part or significant position should be allowed to women as they function along with the men, in the life of the Church? Does the Church need women to function as ministers of the gospel of Christ? These questions are really difficult to be answered. So it will be advisable for us to go back to the Old and New Testament. These are where we will get things from the Church History perspectives.

Discussion

1. From the Old Testament Perspective.
God placed women in a particular position in the government of His world.
a). Men and women are first of all equal before God: The Bible declares that God created
them male and female (Gen. 1:26). Both were created in God’s image and were both
commanded to carry out God’s instructions together (Gen.1:27-28).

b). In God’s creation program and plan, male and female functions were separated:
Adam was created first and assigned to work and care for God’s garden in Eden (Gen. 2:7-
8, 15, 20). Eve was brought in as a suitable helper, a companion to work along with Adam to
fulfill all of God’s plan and purpose together as one person (Gen.2:18, 20 – 22). God instituted
the first government through the family (Gen.2:24). This government united Adam and Eve
until when they sinned against God (Gen.2:25, 3:8-10).

c).God maintained His creation plan and program: Before the fall, man was in
the leading role, while the woman was a partner or helper (Gen.2:24). At the fall,
the woman was at the leading role over man (Gen.3:11-12) “She gave and he
took”. Satan must have come to exploit the disorder in order to subject man
under God’s curse (Gen. 3:13). During the time of God’s discipline, man was
restored to the position that he left to the woman (Gen.3:18). God punished him
because he listened to the woman and violated God’s instruction (Gen.3:17).
Adam renamed the woman to be Eve (the mother of all the living). So in God’s
proper order, the man should maintain the leading role, assisted by the woman.

In the family lineage, God appointed the Hebrew males to work with them to fulfill His mission on earth (Gen.5:3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 25, 28, 29, 12:1-3, Num.2). God consecrated Aaron and his sons as Priests (Ex.29:27-35, 45). Women freely functioned as musicians (Ex15:24). They could serve as prophets (Judges 4:1, 9, 21-25), but never appeared in the ranks of the Major Prophets.
2. The New Testament Perspective.

a). Women had a significant role in Jesus’ ministry: They were not appointed among the twelve apostles (Matt. 10:2-4), but were involved in the earthly ministry of Jesus. Mary anointed Jesus before His death and burial (John. 12:2-3, Mark 14:3-9). Martha and her sister were closely connected to Jesus in some important activities of ministry on earth. Women were the first to visit the tomb , meet Jesus at the resurrection, and bear the resurrection message (Matt. 12:1-10).

b). Paul introduced the controversial part in the role of women in the ministry: He said that they should not lead or teach in the Church (1Cor. 11:3, 7:17, 20, 14:34-35, 37-38, 1 Tim.2:11 -15). In other places, he recommended women of faith who worked hard in the service of the Lord (Rom. 161-5, 12, Acts 16:14, Col. 4:15).

3. Women in the History of Missions.
The role of women in the history of Christian missions has been very vital. According to the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, women stand the best choice for different pioneering work of missions, since they never give up missions. They are all the best choice in a holistic approach to missions because they easily volunteer their money, time, energy, and organizational abilities to support field work of all kinds. The perspective also point out that women contributed greatly to Christian Missions; e.g. Priscilla taught the Bible to people in Rome, Greece and Asia Minor. Lucia of Sicily, about AD 300, was involved in charitable works and was martyred of her love for Jesus.

4. At the reformation period, the role of women was brought down to being supportive to the men at home, or in the mission field. Female vocation became that of marriage. If they were to go to Mission field as single women, they were only to care for missionary children. But when women of the United States of America took over big responsibilities of running businesses, banks, firms, etc; they formed colleges due to the death of their husbands at the American civil war. They inherited a larger role than men for close to fifteen years.

5. Recommendable Role of Women in Ministry for the 21st Century Church.

a). Their role in the family should determine their role in the ministry: If they are submissive to their husbands at home, why not in the Church (Eph. 5:21-24). Any form of liberty for women who are involved in ministry will result in loneliness or a solitary way of life. Women are not to change their positions when they believe or when involved in ministry (1 Cor. 7:17, 20).

b).Women occupy a supportive role in ministry: There are certain functions in ministry reserved only for women, and men cannot fill the vacuum.
1. Building up the faith of younger women (Titus 2:3-5).
2. Women should specialize in music that will edify the church (Ex. 15:21).
3. Hard working women can provide the needs of the poor and those of the  
     Evangelists; e.g. Dorcas (Acts 9:36-30), Lydia (Acts 16:13-15), etc.
4. Discipline other women (Acts 18:26).
5. Becoming evangelists, e.g. the Samaritan woman (John. 439-42); prophesying (Act 2:17-18); etc. The Lord allowed that they share in the spreading of the message of the resurrection (Matt. 28:5-10)

Application
 All the Christian women are challenged to get involved in the work of the Almighty God.