Years ago I visited a college friend at his home. On campus we had enjoyed a significant sharing of personal values and philosophies, much of it through discussion of literature, history and music. When we met at his home, he wanted me to hear a certain Mahler symphony that expressed some of his aspirations toward the attainment of love and peace. We listened together in silent pleasure, caught up in the music and our high ideals—until, at a particularly moving point in the symphony, my friend's mother broke the spell by entering the room and asking a mundane question about supper. Her innocent interruption received a fierce verbal rebuke from her son. How dare she spoil the exquisite music! Startled and embarrassed, she retreated from the room, but the damage to our mood had been done.
The damage to our illusions had also been done. My friend and I talked about the incident. What good were ideals of love and aspirations to "self-actualization" if we could not control our tongues enough to speak respectfully to other human beings? The spirituality was only a feeling, an illusion, if it could not purify our behavior in the practical matter of what we said.
Exactly so, writes James. He returns now to a theme he introduced in 1:19 and emphasized in 1:26, to provide his most complete explanation of this issue—controlling our tongues.
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Upgrade to remove banner ads and unlock new features!
For the best Bible Gateway experience, consider an upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus. For less than the cost of a latte each month, you'll get reduced banner ads and a huge digital Bible study library. Try it free for 30 days!