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"Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so." James 3:10


I recently had the opportunity to join in a study of James. As we studied the third chapter it occurred to me just how much wisdom the writer had packed into eighteen short verses. I also realized how significant his message is to New Testament Christians.


Think about it. James tells us in verse 8, "But the tongue can no man tame, it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison."


Does he mean to say it is impossible for us to control our speech? I don’t believe that is the message he is conveying to us. Rather, it is a strong warning letting us see just how difficult and harmful our speech can be toward others. James poses the question in verse 9, paraphrased, Can we bless God and curse man? People of the world have a word they use often in describing us "religious types" that do such things- hypocrite, and rightfully so.


Brethren, if we are unable or perhaps unwilling to lift up one another with kind, encouraging words, who will?


Galatians 6:10 tells us, "As we therefore have opportunity, let us do good to all men, especially unto them that are of the house of faith."


James makes simple and logical comparisons to the tongue. It is such a small member of our body, yet, it can do more damage than all the other members combined.


It has been said the tongue conveys what the brain is thinking. Controlling our thoughts puts us on the right path to having power over the tongue.


What causes such contradictory behavior in God's people? James does not mince words. He reveals the cause in verse 16, "For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work."


Envy should be the last thing we encounter among brethren. Christ has not excluded or placed anyone ahead of you when it comes to the hope of eternal life.


As for strife, our time spent with fellow Christians in worship and fellowship is our reprieve from strife. The world is full of strife (I Cor. 3:3). It has no place in our service to God.


James reveals the solution for such behavior in verse 13, "let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom." Verse 18...."And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace..."


Volumes have been written and millions have been made concerning the power of positive thinking and speech.


In comparison, James uses just eighteen verses to arm us with the ability to have the most significant impact of all through our Godly conversation filled with wisdom and the spirit of peace.