Study Notes on James 3:8-10

…but the tongue is not able to be tamed. It’s a fickle, unrestrained evil that spews out words full of toxic poison! We use our tongue to praise God our Father and then turn around and curse a person who was made in his very image! Out of the same mouth we pour out words of praise one minute and curses the next. My brothers and sister, this should never be! James 3:8-10 TPT

The tongue is a sure sign of what is in our heart. There is no remedy offered here to tame the tongue, but rather a fact that it cannot be tamed. Blessing and cursing come from the same mouth. My mouth. Oh so true. So what do we do with this devastating fact?

We try to do better. We pay attention to our words. We draw close to God and let the Holy Spirit guide us. When my heart is unsettled it is usually due to the bitterness I have allowed to take root there. Tiny seeds of sadness can grow big defensive roots. Seeds of aggravation can grow a crop full of angry weeds. I need to take an active role in tending to my heart. Be aware of the bitterness that begins to grow and root it out. When I cultivate gratitude and kindness in my heart, my tongue will reflect the same. I believe God allows our tongue to be a barometer in our life, an indicator of how we are using the free will we possess. It is an instrument that measures the pressure in our heart. And like a barometer, our words can forecast our future, whether blessed or cursed. We should also pay attention to other’s words. When bitterness is spoken, I need to remember this is a clear sign of the pressure of life in their hearts as well. When I look at it this way, I have a better chance of offering grace rather than defensiveness. Kindness and patience offered in the face of bitterness will be a sure sign of God’s power in my life.

Lord, Reveal the bitterness in my heart and show me where it is rooted. Tend to my heart with Your loving hands and remind me to care for my soul. Help me to rid myself of malice and anger. Do not let me hide the pain I feel and bury it as a seed that grows the bitterness I want out of my life. Give me courage to honestly deal with it, letting Your light heal and soothe. Settle my heart so my words come out sweet rather than bitter. And help me to recognize words as the true indicators of other people’s hearts, and show me where I can step in for You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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