Blessing and Cursing
With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
Sometimes politicians get a bad wrap. They have a tough job. They know that if they can make a certain number of people happy they will get elected. But that can be very hard to do. Because of this they can be accused of “talking out both sides of their mouth.” What this means is that they say one thing to make a certain group of voters happy and then to a different group with different beliefs the same politicians may say something completely different to make them happy. It’s a classic case of telling people what they want to hear and not telling them the full truth. Sometimes it’s hard to respect a person who is willing to fudge the truth in order to get elected. Unfortunately it happens all the time.
James is saying something very similar in these verse, but the audience is not politicians, it’s Christians. These Christians had a habit of “talking out both sides of their mouths” as well. In one instance they could speak words of life to certain people and then to others they could do the exact opposite and speak hurtful and biting words.
James is saying, “This is not who you are!” He is saying that Christians should act like Christians. Non-Christians act like non-Christians and Christians should be different. This is not a complicated concept, but sadly, it is often not the case in real life. Many times, people who say that they are Christians act in such a way that you’d never believe it.
James wants us to know that when it comes to our words we have to be who we are. We are Christians and Christians can’t have blessing and cursing come out of the same mouth. This should never be.
Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
• How can you prove that you have knowledge?
• Doesn’t it seem like those who talk the most have the most knowledge?
• What do you think this Bible verse is trying to communicate?
Our Father, we want to be consistent in our speaking. Help us to be who you have made us to be. Help us to remember our identity as Christians. Help us to live in light of the implications of your gospel. We need your help. Apart from you we can do nothing. In Jesus’ name, Amen.