The Taming of the Tongue

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Original photo by Jade

Daily Reformation, James 3:1-12

From the Reformer Be not many masters. The common and almost universal interpretation of this passage is, that the Apostle discourages the desire for the office of teaching, and for this reason, because it is dangerous, and exposes one to a heavier judgment, in case he transgresses: and they think that he said, Be not many masters, because there ought to have been some. But I take masters not to be those who performed a public duty in the Church, but such as took upon them the right of passing judgment upon others: for such reprovers sought to be accounted as masters of morals.

—John Calvin, Commentary on James

Pulling It Together

The only “master of morals” said, “Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged.” (Matt 7:1) It is enough to teach his truth and hold yourself accountable to it, while exhorting others to hear the Word, and then resting in the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives as well as your own. This is the best course of action for taming the tongue. Condemning someone who will not carry your moral load may prove your downfall.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers

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