James 3:2 KJV
2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
James is a very down-to-earth fellow isn’t he! He starts out verse 2 right away by saying in many things we offend all. I imagine that James was talking about the fact that they were preaching the gospel in those days and people were offended by their message. They were offended that they had to accept Jesus Christ in order to go to heaven. They were probably offended that they had to follow certain rules in order to be free. The Jews were offended that circumcision didn’t have to be carried out in order to get saved. And the heathen were offended that the apostles were claiming Jesus Christ is the one true God. I’m sure there are other things that people were offended by as well. And James knew this.
I have to admit that I do not offend enough people. I’m not as outspoken about the gospel as I should be. If I was I would be offending people. There are so many in the church today who think that heaven is an assured thing. That because they’re good people and they go to church and they don’t do any nasty sins that they are bound for heaven. They believe that Jesus died for all and there’s absolutely nothing they have to do in order to claim that He is their Savior. I would offend every single one of these people because I believe Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. I believe that you have to make a personal confession of your sins and that you have to accept Jesus Christ into your life and repent of your sins and turn away. I believe once you’ve done that that you have to follow Him and continue to do His Commandments in order to be saved and go to heaven. I believe in the gifts of the Spirit, and the prayer language God gives each one of us. I believe I can talk one on one with God, and He talks to me as well. This kind of talk can offend many.
In Matthew 5:10-12, Jesus told us that if we persecuted for righteousness sake, or for His sake, that we will be blessed. Oh, how I need to be bolder in my witness for Christ! I have a good friend in Tennessee who talks to people about Jesus everywhere he goes and could care less what people think of him. All he is a lot more balls than I would ever want to be I wish I had some of his tenacity. I asked God regularly to give me more boldness and to not be so concerned with other I offend people or not.
I believe that’s what James is talking about here when he says we offend all people in many things. But then he goes on to say that if we did not offend people without words then we are perfect and able to control our whole body. Is there anybody reading this blog that can honestly say they do not offend people by their words? I have a habit of saying really dumb things around my wife and offending her every so often. I hate it when I do that and most of the time I don’t even realize I’m doing it. My mouth goes off and before I know what happened I said something that hurts our deeply.
One of the tests of true humility is not talking so much. One of my favorite authors says humility that still talkative needs to be watched. I am definitely a lot quieter than I used to be and I don’t speak out near as often as I used to. I don’t try to take control as much as I used to. I don’t try to show off my knowledge as much as I used to. But I can still get myself in trouble very easily. I definitely need to watch my tongue. And James is going to give us some very practical lessons as we go through the study of chapter 3 on how diligent we need to be in controlling our tongues