by Sarah Nelson
I recently started reading through the book of James. It is a book I have read through many times as shown by the state of the ragged pages from that section of my Bible. Why am I reading this again? Because James has much to say about our words and how they can cause wounds. It is a book that challenges us as followers of Christ to have our lives, actions, and words be reflections of His grace, His gentleness, His love.
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
Do you, like me, ever get frustrated with yourself as you find yourself quickly using your tongue to tear down, rather than to build up? Do words that sting and belittle others exit your mouth, instead of words that heal and encourage fellow believers?
We have all failed with our words. Many times they have been salty, rather than fresh and sweet. The fruit that is produced in our lives often has not been that of which reflects our Savior.
The Good News is that every time we fail in our words and in our actions, our loving Father grants us forgiveness as we confess our sins to Him. Christ in us is what produces the fresh and fruitful life. Left to our own sinful nature, we’d be hopelessly lost and discouraged in our efforts. Aren’t you amazed and grateful to know that He gives us His Spirit to guide us, counsel us, correct us, and comfort us in this life long process? I know that I am.