Friday, May 09, 2014

May 9 - Out of the Same Mouth

Today's Reading:
Isaiah 3:1-5:30
James 2:18-3:18
Psalm 136:13-26
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses:
James 3:9-12
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

The words we choose and the things we say are very important. Having an undisciplined tongue is inconsistent with following Christ and honoring God. If hurtful and careless things flow from our mouths unchecked, it contradicts the praise we offer God, and reduces it to nothing more than lip service. A mouth that says sweet things to God should not say bitter things to those God has created and loved. Being careful to say helpful, loving, and constructive words to others is one of the best ways to praise God with our mouths.

Response and Action:
I need to recognize the importance of my words and I understand the need to choose them wisely. I must always be mindful of the connection between my words to people and my words to God. I must avoid a mental disconnect that allows me to offer words of praise to God, but then be careless or hurtful in my words to people. I will ask God for the grace and guidance I need as I make every effort to be disciplined and helpful in my speech. I will strive to honor God in the way I speak to others, not just in the words I say to God.

Dear Lord, help me to be careful about my words. Grant me the grace to be disciplined in my speech. Forgive me for the times I am thoughtless or hurtful with my mouth. Teach me to be wise in my speech, that my words would honor you as they help and bless others. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses:  
Ecclesiastes 10:12-14
12 Words from a wise man's mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his own lips. 13 At the beginning his words are folly; at the end they are wicked madness- 14 and the fool multiplies words. No one knows what is coming—who can tell him what will happen after him?

The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others
by Scot McKnight

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