“With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and curse.” – James 3:9
Here’s one of the ironies for a lot of people in the body of Christ. People will come to worship and really worship the Lord with great feeling, and then that afternoon curse somebody in your family, somebody at the church, somebody at the office– the same person, blessing and cursing. And God’s Word says very clearly, It should not be this way.
I remember a situation in college one day where I had become pretty good friends with a guy who mainly thought about the next party he could have. Yet, I had been able to develop a friendship with him and had been able to share Christ with him two or three times. He didn’t seem that interested, but he was cordial. One day we were in Columbia, and I was drinking a six-ounce glass bottle Coke. Anyway, he sneaked up behind me and hit my arm, knocking the Coke down and broke it into a hundred pieces on the floor. What did I do? I cursed him—just like that. Just flew out of my mouth. And he kind of half smiled and looked at me. He said, “Bryant, I didn’t think good Christian boys like you said things like that.” I wanted to crawl in a hole, realizing all those months of trying to share the Good News of Christ had been dissipated in one word. God’s Word says, “With the same tongue we both bless and curse.” It’s just not supposed to be that way. So, being a follower of Christ, how can we tame the tongue?
Bad news: we will never completely tame the tongue because we’re sinners. We’re going to say cruel things, harsh things. So we will never arrive at perfection in this area.
Good news: if we’re ever going to get on top of this situation with the tongue, we’ve got to understand it begins with the condition of our heart. The words of our mouth simply reflect the condition of our heart. Good heart…good words. Bad heart…bad words. Whether it’s cursing, whether it’s slander, whether it’s gossip, or cruel things we say in anger, whether it’s words of judgment in anger that we make towards other… whatever it may be. From a bad heart, come bad things that we say. And Jesus Christ is in the business of transforming hearts. Our hearts. Yours and mine. Is God convicting you today? Let’s give Him the authority over the words that come out of our mouths.