James 3:9-12 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. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
“You have a tongue and a voice. These instruments of speech can be used destructively or employed constructively. You can use your tongue to slander, to gripe, to scold, to nag, and to quarrel; or you can bring it under the control of God’s Spirit and make it an instrument of blessing and praise. The 20th-century version of James 3:3 says, “When we put bits into the horses’ mouths to make them obey us, we control the rest of their bodies also.” Just so, when we submit to the claims of Christ upon our lives, our untamed natures are brought under His control. We become meek, tamed, and “fit for the Master’s service.”” (billygraham.org, daily devotions)
According to the passage above, what are the dual realities that our tongues can engage in? What does James say about this dual function of the tongue?
In today’s passage, we are given the clear directive that our speech should no longer have dual opposing usages—to bless God and curse others. James plainly says “this should not be!” How many of us have been affected and torn down by harmful words of ‘curse’ that were either spoken over us, or you’ve spoken them to someone else? Today we are exhorted to no longer live in such ways, for in Christ we now have only one function, which is to praise God and bless others.
Lord Jesus, your blood has fully forgiven us and cleansed us, and every curse that has been broken by your work on the cross. May our mouths now be used to bring blessing and truth to others, and praise and worship to your name. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.