James – pt. 6

Today’s straight outta James 1:26, and that’s it.

You ever get a splinter?

They are so small, but hurt so much. They just get under your skin and sit there. Sometimes you don’t even know where they came from. You can get something sharp and dig it out. You can get a salve and draw it out. But even after it’s gone, it’s still sore, and it takes time to heal.

Oh, the tongue.

It’s such a small part of the body. It can say a lot, but it can also say very little. And sometimes that very little can be the most hurtful. Someone says a few hurtful, or even careless, words to you. Then it just sits under your skin. And gets sore. Sometimes you don’t even know where the words came from – why they were said. You can poke and dig at them. You can be apologized to. But it still hurts and takes time to heal.

Let’s go back to loving like Jesus. How can we be His followers and use hurtful, or even thoughtless, words? People are listening. If we claim to be religion, but say things contrary to how Jesus would be, how will we draw people to Him? Just as in the verses before with our actions, our words must also reflect the Spirit in our hearts. God created us with emotions and passion. We must learn to control it and use it wisely. We have to train our tongues, our minds, our hearts to pour out things that are good, helpful, and encouraging. I don’t mean sunshine and roses all the time. We can be firm, corrective, even dissenting without being mean, hateful, or condescending. It reminds me of the saying:

I’m sure most of us don’t lie on purpose, but when passing on information, do we check it’s truthfulness? Or do we blindly report what we’ve been told? Do the things we are saying “improve the silence”? Maybe it is something that needs to be said, but in a different setting, to a different audience, or with different verbiage. What kind of response are you trying to elicit? Are you speaking with the intent to build up or tear down?

We should endeavor to use our words to encourage, edify, and as Hebrews 10:24 says, “motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”

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