Because it’s so hard, God warns us frequently about the words that come out of our mouths. Words can destroy or bring healing (Proverb 12:18); they can calm a situation or set it on fire (Proverb 15:4). On and on we could go… But, today, I want to focus on this reminder.
“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” (James 3:9-10)
Obviously, praising God isn’t the problem. However, to then proceed to use the same tongue to curse others is wrong. “Curse” here doesn’t mean the use of profanity, instead it’s to push others down under condemnation. It’s to assign to them a penalty that only God is worthy to pronounce. When we treat others in this manner, by default we elevate ourselves into a position of judge and jury – and God says, “This should not be” – period.
It doesn’t say that “this should not be, UNLESS they disagree with you…” No, the command is clear; yet, it still occurs. People who worship Christ on Sunday morning often make the most belittling statements about others on Sunday afternoon. Those who don’t share our opinions or preferences are often deemed to be “idiots, morons, dense,” etc.
Notice that it’s not only fellow Christians who should be spared our cursing, it’s ALL people. Why? Because just like you and me, everyone we encounter, everyone we ever speak about, has been made in the likeness of God. Because that’s true, we are to speak kindly of them.
Lord, beginning today, help us to use our words to praise You, and to speak kindly of others. –Dave
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