Friday, July 7, 2017

Words Reveal Our Character

Chuckle: "When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep -- not screaming like all the passengers in his car."
Quote: "Temper is what gets most of us into trouble. Pride is what keeps us there." --Anonymous

"With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men (people) who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth can come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be" (James 3:9-10 NIV).
James gives two strong illustrations of how our words reveal character -- what/who we are deep inside. First, he asks, "Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?" (vs. 11). Of course not. The spring is consistent in the water that flows from it. But we, with our tongues, may praise God one minute and verbally assault or curse our brother or sister the next. With one breath, we tell God how great He is and then with the next we tell someone how despicable they are. James says this should not be.
Some people pride themselves in being able to "tell it like it is." But, there's a difference in telling it like it is and being Godly in our speech. Sometimes telling it like it is may not be of God and will inflict great pain. Sometimes even the truth can be terribly hurtful. We don't have to say something just because it's true. We don't have to hurt others by sharing that juicy morsel of gossip just because it turns out to be factual.
Next, James says the tongue is also like a tree. "My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs?" (vs. 12). James is telling us that if our hearts have been made pure by our relationship with Christ, our tongues will manifest it by the words we use. We will bear fruit consistent with the character of the one who has given us new hearts. In Matthew 12:34, Jesus tells us: "Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." An untamed tongue is a symptom of an impure heart. Words indicate the condition of our hearts and reveal who we really are.
If you speak negative words, you have a fearful and pessimistic heart. Afraid to trust God, afraid to have faith, afraid to be optimistic. So negative words come out of your mouth. It's a heart problem. The glass is always half empty, never half full. People like this look for reasons something can't be done rather than how something can be done.
If you speak harsh words, it is because you're harboring anger in your heart. Most of our most hurtful words are spoken while we have uncontrolled anger toward someone. Many times those closest to us are our victims.
If you speak boastful words, it is because you have an insecure heart. If you are insecure, you feel you must impress people to make them think you are special and important. This heart condition often takes the form of putting others down to make ourselves look good.
If you speak critical words, it is because you have a bitter heart. The resentment and bitterness comes out in our words. Our tongues become like sharp sabers that cut, slash, and stab. Such unresolved bitterness can turn us into people no one likes to be around -- and also makes us most miserable.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home