Week 3: Taming the Tongue
Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal)
Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In pairs or groups of three, have participants share a story about when they were the object of rumors or gossip; or have them talk about a time when they engaged in rumors or gossip that resulted in harm to someone else.
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes)
Read: James 3:1-12
- How big a sin do most people think gossiping is? How big a sin does James seems to suggest it is?
- Why do you think James holds teachers to a higher standard (3:1)?
- Do you agree with James’ assessment that the tongue can do such great harm (3:2-5)?
- Have participants share when others spoke words of blessing over them. How might we be more intentional to offer words of affirmation and blessing?
- What are James’ images of the spring (3:11) and a tree (3:12) attempting to convey about our lives? [In order for good to come from us, good (God’s grace) must be within us.]
- What might God be calling you to do as a response to this passage?
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:
God of all people, forgive us when we fail to treat or speak to others as if they are anything less than people made in the image of God. By the power of your Holy Spirit, work within us so that we will offer words of affirmation and blessing so that others might experience your grace. Amen.