With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues
we curse the very men and women he made in his image.
Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!
My friends, this can’t go on. (James 3:4a-10a)
Speaking the truth in love?
Most of us believe ‘speaking the truth in love’ means we get to tell someone else just how far off the mark they’ve fallen, how egregiously they’ve offended us, or how much of a failure they are–‘politely’ of course. But what is ‘truth’ anyway? And what does it mean to speak Truth? I’ve been thinking lately that most of humanity does not have a clue what ‘Truth’ really means.
And, because we don’t understand the power of our words to bring both Truth and Darkness into our relationships, we’re busy attacking each other, declaring the presence of evil in anyone we’re struggling with, and routinely denouncing everyone’s behavior but our own! It’s a wonder Jesus has any room to work in this environment!
For example, a local believer, who attests to her own intercessory prowess, declared once in my presence, “Every Christian has a demon in them.” EXCUSE ME?? Why would an ‘intercessor’ declare demonic presence into someone else’s life? Her declaration was a prophecy, and a seriously ugly one too!
These themes, ‘declaration as prophecy’ and ‘speaking the truth into being’ have echoed throughout the writings of biblical prophets, and have been increasingly appearing in the testimonies, speeches, and written words of current prophets and scolars. Writers in the secular press have also picked up this complaint-free theme–“stop before you openly declare what you don’t want (the complaint) and instead speak what you do want (the intention)“.
It’s time we noticed that God is admonishing us all to stop declaring darkness, disaster, and demon-possession over each other–and to abandon our Life-destroying, death-enhancing prophecies over our world, It’s time we chose instead to declare life-affirming, God-is-present-and-powerful blessings over everyone!
A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it! It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.
This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can’t tame a tongue—it’s never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth! My friends, this can’t go on. (James 3:4a-10a)
Anyone with a ‘firm command of the obvious’ can see the pattern here! God is admonishing all of us to weigh our words and actions toward each other before we act them out!