James 3:4-12 4; Consider ships: They are so large that strong winds are needed to drive them. But pilots direct their ships wherever they want with a little rudder. 5 In the same way, even though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts wildly.
Think about this: A small flame can set a whole forest on fire. 6 The tongue is a small flame of fire, a world of evil at work in us. It contaminates our entire lives. Because of it, the circle of life is set on fire. The tongue itself is set on fire by the flames of hell.... 9 With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,this should not be! 11 Can both fresh water and bitter water flow from the same spring?…
Read these passages very carefully and you will see that James is seeing something painfully ironic. We speak from both sides of our mouths. Scripture certainly does not tell us to condemn, curse or harm others with our words. Our tongues are given so we may bless our Lord, not destroy our neighbor. Makes me have to look very carefully in a mirror.
Does our Lord teach us differently than what James is saying? Does Jesus the Christ give us a free pass not to follow scripture when it comes to leaders, political and otherwise, or those we may disagree with? For me James makes it very clear. Words are no different than bullets in many ways yet we think thou shalt not kill only refers to extinguishing life scientifically, but can it mean more?
Today we live in a climate that is a result of many abandoning the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Apostles, especially with our tongues. And it is not simply our political leaders, it is our church leaders and pastors, our brothers and sisters in Christ cursing others, condemning those who dare disagree, supporting twitter, facebook and other means to humiliate and demoralize another person or persons.
We ask; what can we do to heal our nation or our own homes? The Apostle James, a follower of the teachings of Jesus, would say we must be a model for the rest of the community on how to love those with whom we disagree. He makes it very plain when he said; if we bless God and then curse people, "It just shouldn't be that way."
So I ask you; Are you willing to rethink your tweets, your facebook posts, water cooler chats or everyday conversations in light of the teachings of Jesus and James? Are you strong enough in your faith to stop blaming and tearing others apart and begin following our Lord. There is a song that says; "They will know we are Christians by our Love" do they? I hope to see you later this morning. God bless, pastor Carl
Father help me tame my mouth. May my Lord convict me when I curse or dehumanize another person. May I be a blessing to others, even those I may never meet. Thank you for convicting me this morning on changes that need to be in order to become closer to you. Father I ask for this help in the name of your Son Jesus, Amen.
Meet the pastor
Rev. Pastor Carl Schreiber has been serving East Orrington Congregational Church (EOCC) since March 12, 2006