Faith- Words of Wisdom for 08/16/2022 “WORDS”

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With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 

- James 3:9-10

I am often asked: Why are young people leaving the church? There are many reasons, but the main complaint is hypocrisy, the visible inconsistency of those who call themselves Christian. The teaching of Jesus is very clear, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Identity and spiritual maturity are revealed by our words. And these days, many Christians, those who quote scripture and pray, are also guilty of using some pretty harsh language toward fellow human beings.

IN this teaching from James, the word for “curse” is very specific. It’s not about using R-rated words. To curse another person is to condemn them. This can be a Facebook post calling for violence against a political officeholder, or using a vile phrase about our President, or calling someone from another country an “illegal.” 

IMAGO DEI is a core teaching of Judaism and Christianity. Every person is made in the image of God. We are image-bearers, reflecting our Creator. To bless our Creator with praises, and then to turn right around and berate our fellow image-bearers is a blatant contradiction to all that Jesus lived and taught. Spiritual maturity, and even salvation status, is revealed by our language. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8.)

IF we love God, we are to love and bless others, no matter their shade of skin, political leanings or geographical place of birth. To bless someone is to encourage and seek their happiness. James sees the tongue as an instrument of extraordinary power, and every day we have opportunities to bless others, and honor God. 

Deliver me, O God, from the arrogance of blessing you while cursing your creations, and may my mouth declare your praises at all times. Amen.

-Dan Garrett

Director of Church Relations, Christian City

Recent weekly Words of Wisdom can be accessed on Christian City’s Website

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