Our verse for today comes from James 3:10, ” Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. “
My five-year-old is still learning to read. But that doesn’t stop her from grabbing book after book and pouring over them like she understands every word written on the pages. She even makes up the stories as she goes from one page to the next. But she also has a couple of older sisters, and they like to remind her that she really can’t read yet. And when I first found out about this, I just kind of scratched my head. Of course, it never crossed their minds that they were saying things that were the exact opposite of what God would want them to say. They just had one up on her and were taking the opportunity to remind her of that. And unfortunately, their behavior didn’t surprise me as much as I wished it did. For it has become crystal clear to me that these little angels have a raging sin nature within them that looks all too familiar. We all are amazing, aren’t we, with the stark contrast of things that can come out of our mouths? And maybe we would pay a little more attention to it if we looked at it from another angle. Consider your shock if you saw someone enjoying a nice meal of chicken and vegetables, and their dessert was a bowl of cow manure. Or what would be your reaction if they finished their sweet tea and then got a refill of urine? Could that sound any more disgusting?
Well, that’s what we do, only we do it in reverse. Our dirty sin nature resides in our hearts, and we feed it with our thoughts and our eyes and our ears. And then, even if we may have just finished praising or enjoying something, the manure and urine can come pouring from our tongue. As James says, it’s a feat that no spring or fruit tree can replicate. So he sort of scratches his head and simply says that it ought to not be that way. He admits that the tongue is mighty, but he confesses that we use ours to tear down the very things and people that we build up. It ought not be so. Even now, I can hear some good words my mom had for me, still ringing in my ears. Resolve to produce only that kind of sweetness for your listeners, and be done with the manure.
As we seek Him today, listen to what you are saying. Picture yourself on the receiving end of your words, and ask God for grace to say what He would have you say.