Study Questions for Groups
By Michael C. Mack
1. In what specific ways did you act with love and mercy toward others last week?
2. What opportunity came your way or what challenge did you face as you acted with love and mercy?
Ask three people—two readers and one reteller—to help. Ask the readers to read James 3:1-12 one after the other, preferably from different Bible versions.
Ask the third person to summarize the main points of the passage.
3. In general, why should we be careful with what we say?
4. Let’s dig deeper into this Bible passage:
• What illustrations (word pictures) in regard to the tongue did James use, and what truths do you learn from these?
• What metaphors (“The tongue is . . .”) did James use, and how do they help you better understand the dangers of the tongue?
• This passage is full of warnings: the tongue corrupts, it can’t be tamed, and it is duplicitous. Why are those warnings so vital for God’s people to consider?
5. What do you learn about God from this passage?
6. Let’s discuss what we learn about ourselves from this passage:
• In what situations do you find it most difficult to keep a rein on your tongue? With coworkers, with family, while driving, while participating in athletic events, while watching sporting events, on social media, other:___.
• James said, “No human being can tame the tongue” (v. 8). Yet James assumed it can be tamed (v. 10), and the Bible teaches “everything is possible” for God (Mark 14:36). What does this teach you about how your tongue can be tamed? (For a deeper study on this topic, read and discuss 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 and Romans 12:1-2.)
• Jesus said, “The mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Matthew 12:34). What does this add to your understanding of how to tame the tongue?
7. How will you “praise our Lord and Father” with your tongue this week?
8. Based on our study and discussion, complete this sentence: “This week, I will . . .”
9. What challenges do you anticipate this week as you speak with civility and in praise of God?
For Next Week: Read and reflect on James 4:1-17. You can also read next week’s supplemental texts as well as the Study and Application sections as part of your personal study.