Wednesday April 27, 2022
Scripture James 3: 9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
Life Lesson: The inconsistency of what we say testifies against us, however if we make it our intention to use our tongues to express faith, to praise the Lord and to share God’s love with others, we do not have to become victims of our own words.
– James here sets up the obvious dichotomy of using our tongue to worship the Lord and then using it to curse those whom God has created. Yes, the tongue can be an instrument of great evil, a means of tearing people apart and expressing doubt, disbelief and disdain. However, the tongue can also be our instrument with which we give praise to God, testify to God’s blessings, and lift up and encourage others.
– The problem is when we get caught up in the habit of using our tongue to do both, to bless as well as to curse. We all know the present day struggles, the ongoing disappointments, as well as our familiarity with abuses of power in our government.
– Such struggles can cause us to become reckless in what we say. I want to offer all of us encouragement with this concern. God knows all too well exactly what we are going through and we can trust the Lord to not only look after these concerns but to even bless us as we journey through them.
– Here is a reality we too easily forget when we are tempted to fly off with our mouth and say things we know we should not say, the Lord our God is worthy of our praise and our trust! When we lose it and begin saying things that go against the expressed will of God found in His Word, we are doing much more than condemning the thing, issue, or person we are angry with, we are, with our words, denying our faith and our trust in God!
– James has already told us in James 1: “20 … human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires”. We must learn to not only control what we say, we need to surrender how we feel to the Lord and trust God to take care of it. Jude writes in his letter warning against the slandering of celestial beings saying, 9 But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”10 Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them.” Not even the archangel Michael dared to condemn Satan in an aggressive dispute over Moses’ body, but instead kept the pre-eminence of honoring God above all and said, “The rebuke you!” But then Jude goes on to write that those being led by their carnal nature have no problem slandering anything they do not understand. Let us not slander as the devil does, but let us honor and trust in God to deal with the matter and thereby glorify the Lord!