The Book of James; Chapter 3
Most likely, in your Bible when you read this chapter, whether you are reading it online or in a physical Bible this chapter is separated into two different sections. Today we’re going to talk about both of them, because even though our Bibles separate them, they have quite a lot to do with each other. For example, this first pericope (which is the fancy word for section in the Bible) is all about the evil that our tongues can cause, and we have all seen this firsthand haven’t we? The second is about the good, both are possible, and only one is actually worth anything. Like I said earlier, we’ve all seen the destruction that we can cause each other by word alone. Every single one of us have been both on the receiving end of someone intentionally hurting us with their words and been the one hurting others. Why do we do this? What do we get out of it? We certainly don’t get the benefits of doing the work of Jesus from hurting others. There are times where righteous anger is justified, but the vast majority of anger and hurtful words are not.
We have to become intentional about our words. What we say is a representation of who we are, and by extension a representation of who Jesus us. If the world recognizes that we call ourselves followers of Christ, but we are judgmental, hurtful, and full of gossip, that is who they are going to think that Jesus is. And let’s be honest, if Jesus is who he is represented as by some people who call themselves Christians, then none of us would want anything to do with him. Let’s be wise with our words, they have a greater impact than we care to know. Every statement that we make bears fruit, hopefully the fruit is good. Go build someone up today, reach out and love someone. The people in your life don’t know how much you love them, and Jesus loves them unlessyou tell them.
-- Pastor Alex Gebert Crossroads Wesleyan Church