Life lessons from James #22

The Bible is a personal letter from God to us!!

Last two weeks we spoke about:

#20-Speech can be controlled (Bridle & Rudder)

#21 – Contentious speech can be destructive (Like fire & poison)


Conflicting* Speech can be Deceptive.

(Teenstrydig – Not compatible)

“Before the tongue can speak it must have lost the power to wound.” – Peace Pilgrim


James 3:9-12 (NIV) – “9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be*. 11Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?  12My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”  (It does not fit a child of God’s life)

James teaches us that we must have a “FAITH THAT WORKS” but he also taught us that our WORDS are important. Faith must be carried by the words we speak.

When our words are Controlled they direct us in the right way – When they Contentious they can destroy us.

James also addressed those words that are Contradictory that can deceive not only ourselves but others as well.

The American Indians referred to such a person as one who spoke with a “Forked tongue”

That is: This person said one thing at one time and the opposite another time.

James‘s own words: “These things should not be so..”

Once again James offered two illustrations to substantiate his point about speech that contradicts itself.

First he asked: “Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?”

Imagine you’re in the desert and extremely thirsty and you find a fresh spring of water…

What a disappointment if that spring of water produced both fresh and bitter water

It would be as deceptive as a mouth that speaks both blessing and curses.

Then James asked this rhetorical* (to produce effect) question: “Can a fig tree, My brethren bear olives or a grapevine bear figs?”  – Obviously NOT a chance!

Such inconsistency is impossible in the Natural world.

Just as the fruit of a tree reveals the health of its root system – So our words reveal what is in our heart.

If our hearts are deceitful our words will be also.

James made it plain: Our tongues speak words that spring from our inner nature.

Our words reveal who we really are and what is going on deep inside.

Just as it is impossible for salt water and sweet water to come from the same source and olives to grove on a fig tree, it is impossible for our tongues to produce what is not in our hearts. 

Matthew 12:34 (NIV) – “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”

We only deceive ourselves if we think we can go through life speaking with a forked tongue.

If our speech is inconsistent simply washing the mouth with soap won’t work.

Solomon said: Proverbs 4:23 (NKJV) – “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”

A good doctor would treat the source of the disease not the symptom.

The problem with people whose speech is contentious and contradictory too often deal with only the symptoms not the source.

For too many are doing their best to stop saying things they shouldn’t say and try hard to say the right thing.

James 3:8 (NIV) – “No man can tame the tongue..”

Education can’t do it, turning over yet another new leaf can’t do it.
Only a Supernatural transformation of the heart can tame the tongue

The Christian life is not a Changed life – It is an Exchanged life.


Ezekiel 36:26-27 (NIV) – “26I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”

Only Christ through His work on the cross can truly produce a life of works and words that pleases Him.

Unless you decide to trust God by faith to change our tongue we will not reach what James said:

James 3:2 (NIV) – “We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.”

God wants to bring Correction to our lives.

May we daily pray:

Psalms 141:3 (NIV) – “Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord, keep watch over the door of my lips.”