"Out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be." (NIV) James 3:10
I wake each morning with much on my mind: what meetings do I have today, what tasks do I need to get done, what am I going to prepare for dinner, what will I be wearing today? Yes, the list goes on and on. Then, I stop. I then remember a commitment I have been trying to make to myself and to my God - to start the day with God. I reach for my phone - not to check my messages, but to start my day by reading a daily devotion. I then move onto my reading plan of reading the Bible in a year and review the Bible passages for the day. I say prayers for those in need, for my needs and the needs of my family. When I do this, I am able to start my day with a mindset that God is flowing in me and through me. I might even sing a few praise songs on my way to work or while doing errands.
Then, it happens. The rest of the day. Yes, the same mouth that sang praises to God, the same mouth that read the Bible and prayed to my Lord, THAT mouth has stuff coming out of it that is shameful. That mouth may not say nice things about situations. That mouth may gossip instead of sharing joy. That mouth may share words of anger. That mouth, although not often, but may even curse. That mouth is MY mouth. As when those words flow from my lips, I am shamed. Today's verse reminds me of the importance of watching what flows from my mouth.
Words are such a powerful thing. Whether the words are said, written or inferred, words can truly build people up or tear people down. Words can praise or words can chastise. Words can lighten up or dampen a person's day. Words are an important part of our lives, and we should carefully choose those words as we walk through our days.
It is easy for us, for me, to chime in when someone talks about someone else in a negative way. Bottom line, that is gossiping. It is easy for me to get angry and let nasty words pass from my mouth. Yet, that is cursing and is not acceptable. It is easy for me to look at situations throughout my day, whether on the news or otherwise, and share an opinion that may not be Godly. It is easy for me to fall, as I know I am a sinner. I have been, and continue to, work hard on sharing words of encouragement and praise instead of nasty words. Yet, today's verse, once again, reminds me to focus on such things and ensure that the words that flow from my mouth are used for praise - especially to my God.
Do you find yourself in the same situation? Do "nasty" words pass by your lips throughout the day? Let's make a pact with each other. Let's work hard in sharing words of praise and goodness. Let's not only start our day with God - but let Him live in us throughout the day and may that be evident in our words with others. The next time there are those "nasty" words on the tip of your tongue, remember that we have ONE mouth, and that mouth should be used for kind words! I have faith that we can do this - together!
"Dearest God, there are many days where the words from my mouth are not words of kindness and encouragement. They are not words that you would be proud of. Please forgive me, Jesus, and know that I will continue to work hard on making all important words that I speak be words of goodness. I humbly ask for your help to instill my mind and my mouth to be focused on you. In your name I pray, AMEN!"