The truth is that our words can destroy people, ruin relationships, and leave a trail of charred and broken bodies in its wake.
James 3: 9-12 has a unique way of calling out our voices. The Scripture says, “but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.”
It’s odd how folks want to honor God with their lips, while verbally abusing and insulting others in the same breath. Far too often we can find bitter, angry, slanderous words coming from the same mouths that sang Amazing Grace last Sunday in church.
James gives us a pretty harsh warning by saying, “this isn’t right!” We must remember that we will be required to give an account to the Divine, for all the words we speak here on this earth.
The things you say to others today can and will affect your tomorrow. It is important to the Divine how we speak to others and it should be important to us as well.
Our words cannot be both good and evil. We simply cannot tell God how much we love Him and then spew hate and slander at His creation.
Before you check out on me and think this is simply preacher talk, take heed. When we pop off with harsh, critical words, we are setting ourselves up for an inevitable fall. How do I know this? I know this from a deep and painful path of displaying my pride and my ignorance in being critical of too many people and of things I didn’t even take time to understand. Read the warning from Proverbs 16:18
Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.
We are told to “love our neighbors, as we love ourselves.” (Mark 12: 31). We are to “do unto others, as we would like for others to do unto us.” (Luke 6: 31).
I guess the question that remains is – how would you like to be spoken to? Remember this question when you speak to others. Most especially when on social media!
There are a lot of things we can gripe, criticize and argue about, but anybody can do that. Why be anybody?
I’ve mentioned, several times on this BLOG that I grew up in a home with a critical spirit. I learned at an early age how to find and speak of a grey lining in every silver cloud!
At some point, we all must choose to break that foolish habit. We must all determine that we are not just anybody. We are image bearers of the Most High God. To criticize His creation is to be critical of Him.
May your heart lean into the ways of the Divine and your words follow in the path of His graciousness.