Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. James 3:10
James is well-known for being a short, yet profound book in the Bible. And one of the most famous chapters is on the tongue.
We, as humans, have a difficult time taming these tongues of ours. A big reason why this is apart of this Eucharisteo series is because we use the same body part to praise the Lord as we do to curse men, who are made in the very image of God.
How can this be? It can be quite eerie thinking of how quickly one can move from worship to cursing. Our tongue is almost untamable.
James speaks about how humans have this wonderful ability to tame animals. We witness it in the Zoos, SeaWorld, or even our pets in the home. But, we have the hardest time taming our own mouths. There is a reason I said our tongues are “almost” untamable- though it seems impossible, it is possible to yield our words to the Holy Spirit.
Jesus talked about this very thing to His disciples in Matthew 15. He spoke about where our words originate: our heart. And if we are capable of cursing creation and sometimes as far as our Creator, what does that say about our hearts?
But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. Matthew 15:18-19
Ultimately, we are defiled from the inside out. We are utterly incapable of living a life without the stain of sin. It is so easy for us to point the finger at other brothers and sisters and forget what is lying underneath the surface: our own sin. Oftentimes, it is the very sin that we point out in others that we struggle with the most. It goes back to the old adage, “When you point a finger, there are 3 others pointing back at you.”
This week, in the spirit of Love and Valentine’s Day, we can take heed to the warnings in Matthew and James. Like our verse of the week states, “Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.”
When it comes to our speech, we will fall short. We will lie awake at night in turmoil wishing we hadn’t said something in anger, or wish we had said something more in love. Ultimately, we know that words can have damaging effects. Our brain will remember the one comment a stranger made 3 years ago, but forget the 1000 compliments and encouragement we receive from our closest family and friends. We are all sinners and have been both a victim and a culprit of hurtful words.
The bottom line is (and always will be)- we need Jesus. We are sinful people trying to fight against every fiber in our body that wishes to react to every comment, gesture, or action. But, when we are quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19), there is more time for empathy. And there is definitely more time for the Holy Spirit to lead us.
Ask the Lord to reveal where in your heart creates words of harm. Is it with your husband? Your kids? Your coworkers? All of the above?
Let’s be intentional with our words this week and lead with our ears. We will find more space for the Spirit to intervene when we need it most. And in turn, we will have more time to thank the Lord for His creation rather than cursing it.
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