James 3:10 (KJV)
“Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”
First let me ask the question, “Is it important what I say?” James uses a number of metaphors. One of the metaphors he uses is water that comes out of a fountain, both sweet and bitter. Another metaphor is confusion in regards to a tree. What does it bear? Olive berries or figs? There is a sharp contrast. The last metaphor is salt water or fresh water. These comparisons are very graphic, as they need to be. James is making a strong point and that was the place where I was convicted.
God was making a strong point with me. I remember years ago I would never be caught speaking against another person. It was something that I would not do. Yet, the erosion of our convictions happens slowly over a period of time. We may not be aware of how devastating the erosion has become. Things come gradually in the kingdom of God; line upon line, precept upon precept, and here a little and there a little. The erosion of our values happens the same way. With a little compromise here and little going there it leads to loss. That is my point. It was at that place that I felt conviction to say within my heart this must change. I cannot tell you how good it feels to have made that decision to go back to where I was at one point. I believe that it will directly affect how I respond to the many challenges that I face on a daily basis. I do expect a change as a husband, father, friend, and acquaintance.
It is a good thing to use your mouth as a place of blessing. People will pick up on it very quickly. They will know that you are safe and that you would not speak evil against them. In regards to evil in the hearts of others, we do not need to be self righteous. In other words, thinking "I wouldn’t do that". Instead we need to be proactive; using our mouths as a place of blessing. The decision is yours.
I trust that you will see and understand the heart of this pastor as he desires to bring the level of this congregation to a higher place of affirmation, edification, exhortation, and comfort.