James 3:8-10 But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; rom the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.
James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.
Watch this quick video:
Let me shed a little background to this video. Aubrey is our 3rd child and she is 3 years old. She has been able to buckle the top part of her car seat for quite a while but the bottom part is a little harder for her.
Today, I loaded up all four kids and took them to Walmart. We weren’t in a huge rush to go anywhere, so I went over the way to hold the buckle to push it in to lock it and everything, helped guide it in by holding her hand and helping her push it. We then went to Walmart, shopped for a bit, and then went back out to the van.
We started getting in the van, and I was putting Olivia into her seat and buckling her up. Aubrey was clearly motivated and excited to try and do her own. I watched her grab the buckles and have the desire to try and do it herself. She excitedly got the first clip in and then she grabbed the second one and adjusted its angle a bit and got it in too!
She was motivated by my words of encouragement and words of teaching here. It challenged her, in a healthy way, to try and do it herself because it made her feel like she could. There have been many times before where she has tried and became frustrated and would cry out saying “I can’t do it!”
I find myself like this in my own life as well. When people speak life into me and teach me all the while encouraging me that I can do it, I thrive. I become motivated, even if it is a big challenge, someone spoke life into me and gave me some good teaching so it makes me want to step it up, to rise to the occasion, to give my all.
While learning to buckle a seatbelt isn’t exactly a spiritual feat or accomplishment, the method in which she gained the confidence in her ability to do so is the same in our spiritual lives.
But why? God gives us wisdom to speak and teach. If you were to read only part of James 3, you might wonder “Why should I even try to control my tongue, it seems impossible!”
And in a sense, it is, without God. You must read the entire context of this teaching James is giving. James talks about “wisdom from above” He starts out by talking about how only a perfect man can speak without abusing or misusing his words. With the tongue men both bless and curse but it shouldn’t be that way. Then James goes onto talk about wisdom. We either arrogantly speak, lie, and curse or we speak in a pure, gentle and peaceful manner.
As Christ followers, we have the opportunity to make a HUGE impact and difference in this world. It must be noted that I am not saying we are empowered in some self-sufficient manner or anything like that. Our words can be powerful and good only because of Jesus Christ being powerful and good.
Unfortunately, I have witnessed exactly what James mentions in this chapter (and I am not claiming perfection by any means) where we both bless and curse. I have heard full fledged professing Christians making statements that should never come out of our mouths.
Fortunately, I have had many Christians speak great things into me as well. We are to speak words of edification, meant to build people up, not cursing that brings people down. Rather than bring people down, telling them they are doing it wrong, or they have fallen short, or they aren’t really cut out to do that, let’s find ways to build them up and edify them in Christ.
There are things that I never felt like I could do. There have been times where people didn’t really speak life, wisdom and blessing into me that really created a huge hurdle in my life that made it difficult for me to feel like I could accomplish those things.
However, there have been times where I have been struggling in things where people speak bold confidence into my life that built me up strongly and I was able to accomplish things I never thought I could before.
I could have easily just buckled up Aubrey as I always do, or I could have said “its easy, just do it, can’t you figure it out?!” Neither of those things would have helped her in the situation she was in. Simple words of loving direction went miles with her.
That brings us to YOU: What will you do? Will you speak life or will you speak curses into those around you? Either thing will be powerful, but one will have a good outcome and the other not. So I urge you to speak positively into those around you, the impact will be larger than you ever could have imagined. YOU can do it! You have a life to live, and great things to accomplish through Christ.
I believe in You, so does Jesus Christ Your Lord and Savior, so go and do great things starting with the words you speak!
May the Lord Jesus Christ guide your words and your lives, in Jesus Name, amen.