James 1
James 4

James 3

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.

James gives us yet another mark of a Christ-follower - changed speech. 

A life transformed by Christ will show itself in the way that we speak, reflecting the new nature that we have been given.  The issue is less about the tongue and a matter of a inward transformation that leads to outward actions.  The Bible tells us that is it from the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks, so really what James is saying is that our speech gives others a glimpse of what is going on on the inside.

Paul says it this way...

  • Colossians 3:1-2(TMSG) 1So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. 2Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.
  • Colossians 3:5, 8-9(TMSG) 5And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God... 8But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.  9Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire.
  • Colossians 3:15-17(TMSG) 15Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. 16Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! 17Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. 

Notice how the tongue gets a new job description.  Instead of bad temper leading to mean words, profanity and dirty talk, now the tongue is used to cultivate thankfulness, to sing praises to God and to instruct and encourage one another.

Do our words reflect the new nature that we have been given?  Have we as Christ-followers learned to submit this area of our lives to the lordship of Christ?

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