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Jim Class Day 25

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Scripture: James 3:9-12 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Devotional: Ever heard the idiom “talking out of both sides of your mouth”? That is precisely what James is referring to in this passage, and he unequivocally declares that this is not acceptable for those who seek to follow Jesus Christ. 

There have been many times in my own life where I have judged the speech of others when they do this.  I find myself confused that they would say one thing in a given circumstance, then something completely opposite in another.  And it really causes me to question their integrity- especially when both blessing and curses come from their lips.

But I don’t have to reflect long to realize there are times when I do this as well.  And I’m deeply ashamed.  What I love most about James’ words here is that he helps to identify the real problem when you and I struggle with this issue:  it comes from our heart.  Our words flow from our heart.  So, if we are having issues in this area, it’s not a mouth problem, it’s a heart problem.  Luke 6:45 says, “from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”

King David, after committing grave sins, including adultery and ordering from his mouth the murder of a faithful soldier, says these words in his prayerful repentance:  “Create in me a clean heart O Lord, and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10.  This is the secret to aligning our language into a unified expression of good, not evil. 

Reflect:

  • Think about the last instance that you “spoke out of both sides of your mouth.”  What is the real heart issue at the center of that?
  • Spend some time in prayers of confession and repentance, just as David did.