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James 3:8-18

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Words of thanksgiving and cursing pour out from the same mouth. My friends, this should not happen! - James 3:10

Words are very powerful and hence it is very important to choose our words well as they can make or break, rebuke or comfort, wound or heal! The tongue is the medium through which our words come forth. Since the tongue is hard to tame, one should be very cautious on the use of the tongue that brings forth words expressing our thoughts, feelings and emotions. Words are like the bullets—once let out, you can’t retrieve them. This is why the Bible says: “Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” (Prov. 29:20).

God our Creator knew very well how powerful words are! In Genesis 1, we saw how HE used WORDS to bring things into existence; He said, let there be light and there was light(Gen.1:3). We see the creative power of words here. Proverbs 18:21 says, Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” Those in authority (leaders/teachers/parents) have the power to make or break people by their words of encouragement or humiliation. We should be very mindful how we use words when we are feeling hurt, disturbed or discouraged; or else we can utter words that we will be ashamed of later. God is never happy when words are used recklessly, because reckless words piece like sword.(Prov.12:18)

We can look at an example of the situation of Miriam and Aaron against Moses in Numbers 12:1-10. Many are not aware of the impact of reckless words spoken against God’s servants. They have the potential to cause destruction to God’s flock especially the naive, bring stagnation or reproach against God’s Assembly which God takes serious action. If not for the prayers of mercy by Moses for Miriam his sister, the result would have been disastrous- what she considered an opinion against God’s servant her younger brother, caused her seven days of leprosy in isolation.

There are situations believers use the very mouth for praising the Lord, to smear the personality of fellow believers, finding fault with something or other. One side of the mouth will say, “Bless you brother/ sister”; the other side says, “Look at him/her!” Whenever reckless/offensive words about a person are spoken, they have the potential to cause havoc in the lives of three immediate persons:

  • The person saying the words

  • The one listening and making comments

  • The person about which the words are spoken

We should never let our mouth which is used to praise the Lord becomes an instrument of destruction, because he who guards his mouth and his tongue keep himself from calamity. The expressions of words are strongly tied to our hearts—out the abundance of which the mouth speaks. Hence for the right use of words, we must always guard our hearts! We can only do this when we are wise in the Lord, because “a wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promotes instruction.” (Prov.16:23)

A wise man must always use words with high level of restraint, just as men of understanding hold their tongue. As God’s children, we have only one mouth, to propagate the voice of our Master. This mouth of ours must be used in this direction for the Lord’s glory. May words of blessing, not of cursing come from our lips! Be wise with your words!

For Prayer:

But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all. (James 1:5)



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