The Book of James focuses on the fact that none of us is perfect… none of us is righteous. And especially when it comes to keeping a tight rein on our tongue. In Matthew 12, the Pharisees were accusing Jesus of being Beelzebub, the prince of demons, after healing a man… but Jesus knew their thoughts and reckless words, and told them at the Judgment Day all would have to give account for every careless word spoken…”For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:37) Nothing gets us into more trouble than idle conversations or blurting out something before we’ve thought it through. And as James observes, if we can’t keep our tongue in check, how can we expect to keep our whole body from stumbling.
As the verse says, we all stumble. And it’s absurd to say anything else. For we all have deficiencies and shortcomings. And as Romans 3:9-20 echoes Psalm 14:1-3…there is no one that is righteous. For if we are unable to keep a tight rein on our tongue, how do we think we could keep our whole body in check?