Chapter 3 of James’ letter to Jewish Christians hits hard about how our inner life is always evident in our outer life through words and actions.
It happens to us all. We learn something new and are certain that we have a full grasp of it. We see it all clearly. In our excitement, we go out and tell everyone, not meaning to boast or to be pushy. New believers in Christ can be the same. Excited about our new found belief, we tell everyone, helpfully telling them how to live and what they may be doing wrong. Rushing into becoming a teacher of the subject may be a mistake. The danger is that others look more closely into the teacher’s life. Experts in any subject are expected to live out the truths that they teach. Showing teaches more than telling. God’s truths are intended to cause change within the believer - change of thought, change of living, change of heart.
Our tongue or our mouth as mothers and fathers are more apt to call it, constantly gets us into trouble. Speaking without thinking it through - without a mature filter - causes misinformation, misunderstanding and hurt feelings. We must always be on guard that our speech doesn’t run ahead of our comprehension, boasting about things of which we don‘t have a full understanding.
In any stage of a believer‘s life there is the danger of falling back into old habits. Inconsistencies become apparent through outbursts of temper. We may praise God one moment and in an unguarded moment, curse someone who crosses out path, forgetting that this person was made in God‘s own image. Our outburst may seem benign but words always carry out a purpose. Words can build up and encourage or tear down and destroy.
Envy and selfishness can hide within the heart of the most well meaning believer. We may think that others don’t see it but it is never really hidden. Evil has a way of showing itself in big and small ways. Words escape that, if thought about, we would know are not kind; are not encouraging; are not helpful. “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34 (NIV)
In his letter, James encouraged believers to mature their faith and to become wise representatives of the faith. Wisdom, that comes from God is shown by the way one lives. True wisdom is evidenced by a good life lived by a humble person.
- Wisdom that is pure - not my own ideas but conforming to God’s word
- Loving peace - working for and maintaining peace
- Consideration for others - being aware and showing regard for another’s feelings
- Submissiveness - being gentle and reasonable, pliant, patient (not rebellious or disobedient)
- Being merciful - being kind, tender, sympathetic and forgiving
- Being impartial - showing no favoritism
- Sincerity - exhibiting openness, not being deceptive
See all articles from the Book of James.
A Walk With the Women of the Bible
EBook by Lynne Chapman
Join me in getting to know some amazing
women of the Bible
while we extract valuable insights and
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Now available for Kindle under new title
A Walk With EVE
Also availble in paperback from Cafe Press.
Names of God Ebook
Almighty God. The Creator of heaven and earth.
Our God is given names in Scripture that
describe the characteristics of His personality.
Experience God through the names given Him in Scripture.