Ever leave an aggravating situation and think of a hundred really good insults you could have hurled at them? You replay the situation over in your mind, each time thinking of a better… and better …way to verbally punch them in the gut. You may have left the situation defeated, but in your car on the way home, You. Were. Victorious.
Yeah, I’ve done that too. But the truth is, like we studied this week, it’s not a weakness to respond in grace. And keep in mind, we’re not talking about merely not knowing what to say – we often can easily tap into the right words to win an argument, right? But think about it, is that really how we are to respond?
Quite the opposite, James reminds us how powerful our words are. Like an 8 ounce bit can guide a 1,000 pound horse, our tongue can lead our whole person into territories that are life-giving …or that are life-damaging.
I think as women, we are even more susceptible to this. How easily our mouths can open. Things we don’t even mean to say can come barreling through our lips when an opportune moment arises.
So, how on earth can we control this object? This thing that can speak, guide and control our very beings?
Reference back to Luke 6:45
For out of the overflow of his heart the mouth speaks.
It’s true though. What’s in your heart will ooze out into your speech.
Junk in? Junk out. Purity in? Purity out.
…Which guides us RIGHT into the next section of James Three: Verses 13-18
If you have godly wisdom inside, it will bubble out with honor, doing good, a humble heart. But, if there is bitterness, jealousy and selfish ambition? “There you will find disorder and evil of every kind. (v. 16)”
I find that personally, most of my sins root from this very issue. My sins don’t sprout of of wisdom and godly intentions. No, my sins root from seeds of bitterness, jealousy and selfishness.
A wise man, this James guy.
So what’s the opposite of a junky heart? Godly wisdom. What does that look like?
It’s PURE, first of all. Then, it is peace-loving, gentle, willing to yield to others.
It is full mercy, and full of good deeds.
And those who are peace makers? They will plant their seeds. And they will reap a harvest of righteousness.
What a black and white contrast.
Which do you want to be? How can you get there? What did this week’s passage teach you?