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Session 5

How to get your foot out of your mouth

Read: James 3:1-12

You’ve said the wrong thing. You’re horrified as you realize the words that just came out of your mouth and wonder how you could have possibly let them slip. How many times have we put our feet in our mouths? A dozen? A hundred? The tongue has the power to bless and to curse (James 3:10). If controlling it seems hard, that’s because it is.

What we say shows the condition of our hearts. And while it’s important to be careful to use words that bring glory to God, it’s the unfiltered words — the ones we don’t catch before they come out —that are the most telling. Instead of just making a conscious effort to censor our words, we need to examine our hearts to find the root of the problem. Are our first reactions criticism? Judgment? Greed? Insensitivity? Then the Lord wants us to grow in grace, love, generosity, and encouragement. Controlling the tongue starts with a change in our hearts.

When we fully understand the way God loves us, our hearts begin to look more and more like Him. We’ll still put our feet in our mouths now and then, but we’ll see it as a prompt to let the Lord work. When our hearts look like His, our words point to Him.


  • When was the last time you put your foot in your mouth?
  • What can you learn about the condition of your heart from that instance?

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