Younger kids: What is something you say when you are upset that you might not mean? How can this cause problems?
God made the world with His words, spoke His Word to us and called Himself the Word when He became a human being. Speech is no casual thing, but a central part of what it means to be an image bearer of God, a special gift of humanity. Then how blasphemous is it for us to take that gift and use it to speak against people who are also made in the image of God? No one would burn a picture of someone they loved, yet people claim to love God while slandering the people made after His likeness. James tells us that this is as insane as one plant bearing two kinds of fruit. Our words reveal our hearts, and when we control our language with love, the whole body will follow in wisdom.
Discussion idea: When someone says 'I just speak my mind,' what are they really saying? Should we be concerned when a date, a politician, a friend or a church leader cannot control their words? What does that say about their wisdom and the state of their hearts? Read Proverbs 18:6-7 and compare it to what James is saying here.
Prayer focus: No one can totally tame the tongue except the One who made it. Pray for God's help to think of Him before you speak and to only say the words which glorify Him.