James 3 v. 9 -18
‘9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.
10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.
11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?
12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
14 But if you harbour bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.
15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.’
‘The two-faced speech (praising God, cursing others) is something no Christian should settle for – but often we don’t even notice we’re doing it.
What our tongues say reveals what is going on inside us – what our hearts are really like. For most, if not all of us, that is deeply challenging.’
So we need to look for a wisdom which affects our hearts / spirits / souls deeply. A wisdom (and a heart) which abandons ‘bitter envy and selfish ambition’, but rather a wisdom which results in a heart and voice which is ‘peace-filled’.
We learn to control our tongues by seeking God’s wisdom and help, and the daily in-filling of the Spirit.
‘At Pentecost, the coming of the Spirit, seen in tongues of fire, caused the first disciples to use their words to declare Jesus’ identity and offer His forgiveness. Our tongues can be set on fire by heaven, rather than by hell (James 3 v. 6).
bringer of truth, of unity, of wisdom,
be poured into our lives today,
that our hearts are inclined all the more
to Your perfect ways.
May our lives and our words
And may we see the ‘harvest of righteousness’,
the growth of Your kingdom,