I Stumble A Lot!

We are now up to chapter 3 in our James Video Series!  This chapter is a HARD one for me. It really points out so many flaws that I have. I am a woman of many words  lol! and Proverbs 10:19 says “When words are many, sin is not absent. But he who holds his tongue is wise.”
James 3 says that NO man can tame the tongue. It is filled with deadly poison.
I long to be a woman who is filled with life giving words. Who is filled with grace and mercy. But the reality is – I stumble in many ways (3:2). And when I stumble, it brings pain to others and to my own soul. I long to be free of this problem in my life – to be so full of wisdom and self-control that I never ever stumble again!
But let me be honest, I stumble!  I stumble all the time in my marriage, in my parenting, and sadly with my friendships!  Just this week, I had to email a friend and apologize for critical words I spoke.  SO embarrassing! I urge you to be very careful with your words in friendships. Pray before you send emails or post on facebook.  Pray God would show you if anything you type could hurt another. Filter your words with love and grace. Be forgiving when someone else acts immaturely. Pursue unity.
I made a video last summer about this very passage of James and included my children. Let’s teach our children while they are young the power of words. It will save them a lot of heartache and produce a generation of children who are world changers for Jesus!

James 3:1-12 ESV – Taming the Tongue
3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 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. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 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. 5 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! 6 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. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
We will never master perfect control of our tongue.  Forever we will need to daily align our heart with God’s word, filtering our thoughts and words through the strainer of God’s word and repenting when the words we speak hurt others.  The next time someone hurts you with their words – remember grace…because you at any minute are about to slip up too!  As a matter of fact, often it’s right after someone else’s slip up that I slip up 10 times worse (for example in marriage – my husband says one word critical – and whamo – out comes 2 critical words from me.  Often what I say  is far worse than the first offense.) 

I like to journal my confessions…it reminds me how much I need Jesus.  The cross says I am flawed but it also says I am forgiven. 

Walk with the King!

This post is linked to Titus 2sdays, A Holy Experience, We Are That Family, and Raising Homemakers.


  1. next time someone hurts you with their words – remember grace…because you at any minute are about to slip up too…

    Yeah it is so easy to ask God for grace…but a little different when we have to give it to others. A great point. We are given grace, much grace, and we should give it out just as much.


  2. Hey–it's "hot-sauce mom!" Kidding! I love this adorable video and the message you share. You're a shining example of love as you generously bestow kindness and seek out peace.

  3. Such good points 🙂 So needed lately too. I am sometimes so awful with the things I do or say when I don't think first. I hate that! Thank you for the honest, gentle reminder!

    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

  4. I have to say, that you are a woman of life giving words! It's true that we all have room to improve, but I also think that we as women are super hard on ourselves. You do so much good for so many countless women out there! You truly lift and inspire us and help us strive to be better. Thanks for your wonderful example! 🙂

  5. wow, I SO needed to read this post tonight! Thank you. My greatest struggle is in this area…I talk too much, and I struggle with lying to avoid "serious talks" with my husband. I long for the day when I can be honest all the time, and not talk so much for my own personal gain!
    Thank you again!

  6. This is so good…we just finished studying James a couple of weeks ago. It think this section is one that hit me hardest…. death and life…in the power of the tongue.
    So convicting.
    Thank you for this…

  7. With so much social media at our fingertips, we must be continually in a state of prayer with our speech. Thank you, Courtney for this much much needed reminder!

  8. So very true! For an introvert and someone who is supposedly a "listener", I certainly do struggle a lot with what comes out of my mouth. I've recently started praying before I hit "send" on any emails or posts and I can feel God working in me to tame some of my words, but it is sometimes a difficult struggle. Thanks for the reminder!

  9. This is really good Courtney.

    So often we jump into things and start a fire and then wonder why it burns. We should just keep quiet often times…and like you once said, let the men go "there."

  10. I can so relate to your comment about comments with our spouses. It happens that way so often: he says one bad thing and we counter-act with multiple things. But it doesn't stop there. More often than not, it continues to escalate until something regrettable is said. For me, I know I need to work on holding my tongue more.

  11. I loved this the first time I saw it when we did the James bible study and I love it even more now! This is an area that I really struggle. I'm careful to control my tongue with others but I slip up big time with my own family! After I saw this video the first time, I have become more aware of how my words can be reckless and, though I don't always succeed, I am not so prideful and quicker to apologize afterward. Thank you Courtney!

  12. Your kids are so precious, Courtney. You little girl is going to be a Bible teacher like her mama someday! 🙂
    Great video.

  13. Your kids are so precious, Courtney. You little girl is going to be a Bible teacher like her mama someday! 🙂
    Great video.

  14. Loved your video. These words are so true, a quickly spoken word without thought can crush someone.
    Blessings, Debbie

  15. I really appreciated this video and the lesson in it. I love how you are teaching your kids in a way that they can truly grasp what you're teaching (by using the hot sauce and toothpaste). Awesome idea!

  16. I too stumble…I can't count the times I've wished I could take back my words. Especially when I am with people who gossip – I hate to do it but find it so easy to take part, especially when I don't know what else to talk with them about. Horrible…thanks for the reminder of God's grace.

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