How Can Salt Water Come Out Of A Fresh Water Spring?
7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
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.
Man has indeed tamed many beasts – those that roam the Earth, fly above the Earth, and swim in the waters of the Earth. God has given man the mandate to rule over all living creatures of the Earth. And man has been somewhat successful in his attempts at this. James notes this to make a comparison to man’s utter failure at one very important aspect of control – his own tongue.
Mankind is terrible at taming the tongue. Very few have complete reign over their tongue. The Bible tells us that out of our mouth is the overflow of our hearts. Good men bring good things stored up out of their mouth, and evil men bring evil things. And since no one is inherently righteous, we bring up evil things out of the storehouse of our hearts. Very few people are able to say the right things when placed under great adversity. We should remember that, and hold our tongues, for we will be acquitted or condemned by what we say.
Praise and Profanity
In the same way, James reminds us that we bring forth out of our mouths both praise and cursing. While this sounds normal to us, it is anything but normal. God ALWAYS brings forth good things out of His mouth. Even His judgments are good and righteous. Yet we as humans bring forth both good and evil. How is this possible?
James asks that question: how can we bring forth both praise and cursing out of our mouths? We are not to be double-minded. Before we knew God, we were bringing forth evil out of our mouths. Our sin nature had us in bondage. But now that we have been redeemed, and God has placed a new heart within us, we should only be bringing good things out of our mouths. Praise should always be on our lips, not cursing.
How can a good tree bring forth both good and bad fruit? It cannot. It should not. We must always remember that as God’s image-bearers, we are responsible for showing the world the Father, reflecting the Son, just as Jesus reflected the Father. When we bring both praise and curses out of our mouth, we are not bearing the image of God properly. Make the choice: ensure that the words from our mouths are in alignment with God’s character. We have the choice, and should exercise it in the most holy of ways.
A Qualifying Question
Let’s ask a question: Am I bringing forth praise and/or cursing from my mouth?
A short prayer of preparation:
Father in Heaven, You have given us freedom from the bondage of the slavery of sin. Thank You Father for the very precious gift of the blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Help me to remember Your holiness as I struggle with frustration and the temptations of evil to do and say what is counter to Your character. Strengthen me to choose to do the right things and say the right words, that You would be glorified. Unite my heart with Yours that I would bring praise from my mouth and not cursing. This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.