Have you ever been surrounded by the same message? Words that just keep popping up. You can’t escape from them. They surround you. I’ve had that experience the past couple of weeks. What’s the message? Why is it so important? Let me explain with Scripture:
Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
There is an extremely powerful message in these words. The message should be the root of who we are. Who we strive to become. But oh how hard it is to put into practice. God knew how hard this one lesson would be which is why His Word is full of similar advice. You can find verse after verse of instruction to be careful of what you say. Guard your tongue. Watch your words. Like I said, this message has been surrounding me for weeks. Through talking with friends, reading devotions, and even our church sermon last week. When I hear things repeatedly, I perk up. I know that God is working at pounding something into my head (and my heart). I desperately want to learn this lesson. I can’t be perfect but I can strive to be the best that I can be. To start, I must memorize these words:
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
I was speaking with a friend about this lesson. She told me a wonderful analogy a teacher of small children used in her classroom. The teacher brought many tubes of toothpaste, cream, etc. She invited all the children forward and had each of them grab a tube. She then told them to squeeze the contents out. The children enjoyed this and squeezed the contents out of each tube exuberantly. After they were finished this wise teacher then told the children to put the contents back into the tubes. The children were all puzzled. As you and I know, this is not possible. The teacher explained to her children that words are just like this blob of mess filling the surface in front of them. Once the words are out, they cannot be taken back. They are the messy blob for all to see. I love this analogy. What a lesson for all of us adults as well.
Here is more instruction from the book of James. James is the brother of Jesus. The same James who mocked Jesus while He walked among us. I think James knew a little something about regret. Regret of words he spoke. Words he wished he could put back in the tube. Thankfully, our God is a good God. A merciful God. A God who loves peace. A God who freely gives grace to all who seek it. A God who is Love. He worked wonderfully in James’ life. The five chapters in the Book of James contain great instruction for each of us.
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
Let us each strive to live by the words. Let us each learn to tame our tongues (James 3:8-10). Let us each think before we speak. Here’s my prayer for you:
Dear God, Thank You for all that You are. Thank You for the ultimate textbook that is Your Word. Some say it is not relevant for us today but we know better. Let us spread the word about the relevancy and timeless lessons that can be found there. Let us take these words that You’ve written to heart to mold us and shape us into the people You’ve created us to be. All that we do and say should be for Your Glory. Help us to be ever mindful of that truth. Thank You for Your endless grace, mercy and love. Keep each of us in the light and the love that is only found in Your Son Jesus Christ. Protect each of us with the Holy Blood of Your Son Jesus Christ. In His powerful Name we pray. Amen.
Stay in the Light and the Love Always,