Watch Your Mouth
“But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.” James 3:8-10
Just when I don’t think I can bear another moment of James writing about the poison of the human tongue, as though my Dad hadn’t warned me decades before I believed in God when he “jokingly” called me “the mouth,” James delivers another “mouthy” admonition – and surprise. I’ve not only been convicted when it comes to the fountain of sin that has gushed from my mouth for decades, but now James makes a point I’m not sure any of us can maneuver around.
How dare we bless the Lord and curse humans who are made in God’s image. How easy it would be to say we never “curse” people if we don’t use “curse words.” Despite a horrific history of using curse words before I became a Christ follower, I thought I had “tidied up” my mouth. Wrong! Merriam-Webster’s online definition of curse includes “to use offensive words when you speak” and “to say or think bad things about…” Cursing isn’t just saying “a bad word”. It’s speaking poorly, negatively, nastily, etc. to or about someone. Ouch. I stand convicted. James is saying we have no right to speak praises of God and lambast others. How easy it is to look down on and speak derogatorily to or about someone who has hurt me, let me down, done something wrong, etc. SIN! Repentance required. It’s not just about cleaning up our mouths; we need to clean up our hearts so instead of tearing down others, we love, forgive, and edify others. Need to make a change? I do!