James – pt. 12

James 3:7-16

No one can tame the tongue.

I don’t know a single person who has never ever said something they regretted. It might be something spurted out you immediately wish you could take back, or something you reflect on later – or even maybe something you changed your views on – and wish you could go back and change. But we all have things we wish we hadn’t said. To me that’s the “no one” part. Everybody messes up. None of us are perfect.

He goes on to say that praises and blessings and cursing come from the same tongue, and that it shouldn’t be that way. How can we praise God then turn around and curse our neighbor. What does Jesus tell us about our neighbor? To love them. 1 John 3:15 tells us that if we hate our brother, we are a murderer at heart. Then further on in 4:7-8 that we should love one another, and that if we don’t, we don’t know God.

So how do (should) we treat people we love? With kindness and gentleness and patience. (Oh, look, there’s the fruit of the Spirit!) Our brothers in Christ. Our brothers in humanity. All who are made in God’s image we should show and treat with love. Give them fresh, life-giving words, not bitterness.

Wisdom. Humility. Good works. Honor. This is the path you will follow once you understand God’s ways.

Jealousy. Selfish ambition. Boasting. Lying. James calls those things earthly, unspiritual, and demonic, bringing about disorder and evil.

We should do good. For the sake of doing good – not for recognition or praise or reward. We should do good because we have His love. We should act wisely to bring Him honor.

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