9.1.19 - On the Meekness of Wisdom (Kenny Camacho)
**NOTE** The audio for this week’s sermon was lost…but if you would like to read the script, you can find it on Kenny’s blog HERE. Thank you!
SCRIPTURE: James 3:1-12; 5:12
There is a paradox at the heart of James’s teaching about the power of our words: on the one hand, the tongue is a “venomous” and dangerous threat that must be controlled (3:3-8). But on the other hand, “It is not possible...for a fig tree to produce olives, or a grapevine figs; neither for a bitter spring to produce water that is sweet” (3:11-12). So, if what we produce (including our speech) is just an outpouring of what we are...what hope do we really have for being able to improve? The answer, for James, is the transforming influence of God’s Holy Spirit in our lives. God is the one who is remaking us into who we are meant to be. And if we are ever curious about how that process of transformation is going, well...we can always check our “fruit.”
Read James 3:1-12 as a group. What do you think of James’s assessment of the “power of the tongue”? Have you ever been surprised by how much someone’s words affected you? Have you ever been surprised to find out how deeply your own words hurt someone else?
Verses 10-12 can feel overwhelming: it can be hard for any of us to ever imagine a time when truly “sweet water” will pour out from us, and James doesn’t seem to think there is much value in a fig tree that produces “mostly” figs! How do you think this difficult teaching from James 3 might relate to other teachings, such as James 2:13?
Now is a good time to revisit the “big idea” of this series, which is that God is working out who we are meant to be: our faith should lead us to actions, and those actions help revise and purify our faith. The goal of all this is to ultimately become “complete and faultless,” living in perfect relationships with God and with others. But that is a long way off for all of us! Where have you seen positive transformation in your life? How did it come about? How can you encourage others using your own life as an example?
Where are you most in need of positive transformation in your life? What is God trying to teach you about this? What steps towards transformation can you take today?