“From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” (James 3:10, ESV)
According to James, the tongue, the words we speak to and about others, can ignite a fiery blaze of hate and poison. No doubt we can understand this after these last few years of political fighting inflamed by the broadcast and social media. Lives and reputations have been harmed and disrupted and millions of us have joined in the political war of words. But we ought to, according to what James indicates, understand and acknowledge our own part in it and repent of it. Have we been ungodly in our speech? Have we imitated the ways of the world and made unkind and rude statements about and/or to others. Have we cursed others?
James stresses the importance of godliness in the speech of the believer. His primary concern was with the words of those in authority in the church, who hold the responsibility to teach others and set a good example. These are to tame their speech because so as not to if set a bad example for believers in their care, or cause them to fall into sin.
However, the teaching on speech is one which applies to all believers. We Christians often copy the speech and words of those outside the church influenced as we all are by the media, especially social media. Exposure to violent, callous,and slanderous words and speech can so overwhelm and numb us that we may wind up thinking there is no harm in using offensive or inflammatory language ourselves. This type of speech brings harm to the gospel and the Kingdom of God. We have a higher calling.
Our words and speech demonstrate our faith as much as do our actions and deeds. The words that we use to convey our feelings and ideas reveal the attitude of the heart. Speech can be used to malign, abuse, control and corrupt others. The believer is called to speak with truth, love, peace, comfort, and righteousness in imitation of the Lord Jesus.Therefore we ought not curse those we dislike or who hold different opinions than ours or who set themselves up as our enemies. As Jesus commanded, we should bless our enemies with kindness and pray that they would come to faith in Jesus. When we bless we are really praying they would come to faith in Jesus and enjoy the glories of His eternal Kingdom.