Seek to be a peacemaker

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.
James 3:9-10 (NIV)

Read: James 3:1-18

Consider: We’ve all said things we regret.  This is often when we are tired or stressed and it usually involves something of little consequence.

James 3 reminds us that our mouths can be used for good or bad purposes.  We can either praise God and as a result build up those around us by speaking appropriately, or we can be negative in our attitudes and instead of praising God we can curse the people around us.  The words we use give a very strong indication of what is going on in our hearts.

I think that what is being spoken of here is hypocrisy.  What we profess (to be a Christian) should match what we do and say.  However, as James is writing to a Christian audience we can assume that even Christians are not immune to saying the wrong thing.  James confirms this when he says: We all stumble in many ways (James 3:2a).  Despite this, the encouragement for each of us is to seek to control the tongue (mouth).  How can this be done?   Later in James 3 he says: ‘… the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere’  (James 3:17).  If we seek to allow God to develop these characteristics in our lives, we would be putting other people’s needs before our own and we would be less likely to ‘curse’ others.

The rise of social media allows people to express views behind a ‘wall’ of distance and anonymity.  If you have ever followed a thread on these platforms, you will be aware of the vitriol that is characteristic of some people’s postings.  For Christians, the challenge is to be able to ignore these posts no matter how hurtful they might be.  Even if others react badly to what we say, we should not respond in kind.  We should take heed of the Apostle Paul’s words:  Do not repay anyone evil for evil.  Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:17-18). 

Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness (James 3:18).

Pray: Father, forgive us for the reckless things we say when we react badly to situations we find ourselves in.  Help us to control our tongues and to be peacemakers.  Amen

Every blessing

© 2023

%d bloggers like this: