As we continue on learning from the book of James, we read a potent and emphatic passage in regards to the words we speak. (James 3:1-12) Words matter. They matter for many reasons. They matter because they hold power, they shape lives and environments, they create and they destroy. Furthermore, words reveal what lies beneath the surface of our lives, the heart of who we are, they reveal the “fruit of the tree”, and so Jesus was very explicit in his teaching in regards to this. (Matt. 12:33-37) Therefore we are wise to pay attention to both our heart and what comes out of our mouth. Are they consistent? If not, we better do the good work of reforming our inner life to empress in our outer life language that builds up, affirms, speaks the truth in love and compassion. For if we don’t, we remain dualistic people, fractured people, hypocritical people, who have deep roots of a negative plant splitting us apart. I encourage you to make the most of your words, and actions for that matter. Let them be pleasing unto the Lord and the people around you. Memorize Scripture so that it might do its beneficial work in your heart and then work its way out of your mouth. Trust that the Lord desires to keep you disciplined in terms of your language and “tongue”. Adopt the image given to us in Psalm 141:3 MSG “Post a guard at my mouth, God, set a watch at the door of my lips.” What might that look like for you?
-Patience and assessment before you speak?
-A trusted friend to listen carefully and give feedback on what you say?
-Increased prayer, especially before you meet with people or are in social situations?
It is a good image given in the psalm for us to dwell on and let take shape in our life.
May the peace of Christ, dwell in your hearts in such a way that the Spirit of Life would continue to bring about God’s kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.