James Chapter 3
Those at the top, those who are in charge, have more responsibility to lead others in the right direction. It would be better not to teach than to teach false doctrine or lead people astray. We have to answer to God if we teach or preach the wrong message.
Verse two is a verse that speaks of much wisdom. If we just could think first before speaking we would bring forth good fruit. Speak things that edify, that will heal, save and bless. Teach truth, righteousness and things that save the soul and deliver from hell. Have no part of gossip, false accusations, and evil speaking.
So much power is in the tongue to do well or do evil. Remember Adolph Hitler. His hate speeches stirred up a whole nation and led them astray. His words caused the death of millions of innocent people. Beware of stirring up hate against anyone.
I remember a person who used her tongue to cause peace between people instead of hate. Instead of repeating something bad a person said about the other, she would repeat something good. For example: "Jonie said that she was very happy to have met you." "Nancy commented on the good job you did last week."
Very rarely do I hear people who repeat good things that cause peace instead of hate. Too bad that person is no longer with us because we need more like her.
The tongue has so much power and it is up to us to choose how it is used. Oh if we could only use our tongues to further the gospel, to edify the body of Christ, to bring peace, joy and love. We also have a responsibility to correct wrongs, to speak out against evil and speak truth. I don't believe James is talking about false flattery here because then he would be in contradiction of the scriptures. Example: "Faithful are the wounds of a friend." Godly correction when a brother or sister goes astray is showing love not stirring up hate. Gossip, backbiting, evil speaking, false accusation etc. is stirring up strife.
The tongue is the hardest to tame. It is full of poison. It should grieve us to hear gossip and we should try our best not to repeat it.
That verse in Colossians is one of my favorites if I could pick a favorite. Its a good prayer to have in our hearts.
Something is wrong with our lives if we praise God and then turn around and curse human beings that are made after the image of God. This is why we need daily to yield to the Holy Spirit who in turn will shed the love of God into our hearts. It all falls back on the second commandments Jesus gave, "Love thy neighbor as thyself."
We would not want people talking about us and speaking evil, spreading gossip or pointing out our faults behind our backs. If that is the case we should not do this to others. If we do, we do not love our neighbor as ourselves.
James uses good comparisons here. A fountain cannot bring forth good water and bad at the same time. If we try to worship and praise God and have a grudge against someone, something is wrong. Wars and fighting among us is a great hindrance to prayers.
Have wisdom with meekness, not with a holier than thou attitude. Have conversation that is fruitful and brings forth righteousness.
This verse reminds me of 1 Corinthians 13. That chapter is the summary of the whole gospel. Love does not envy, love does not lie and love seeks peace and truth.
Here James is showing where evil speaking is from. It comes straight from the wicked one to cause hate, envy and strife in order to hinder the work of God and the salvation of the human race.
This is what we should seek always. Read 1 Corinthians 13. It along with verse 17 of James 3 sums up what Christianity should be all about. This is the fruit of a victorious Christian.
God wants us to get along and live in peace as much as possible. Wars and fighting are not the fruit of His spirit. However, this doesn't mean we use false flattery or lying. The spirit of God is always the spirit of truth.
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