Esther 1-2

Acts 5:1-21


“All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue.”   —  James 3:7-8


James tells us all kinds of animals can be trained, but interestingly, no human being can tame the tongue. In Matthew 12:34, Jesus said, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (NKJV). The reason we cannot tame the tongue is because it is merely a symptom of what is taking place in our hearts.

        There are two metaphors James uses to describe the source of our words. Firstly, “Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?” (3:11). If the spring is fresh, then the water flowing out of our taps will be fresh, but if the spring is salty, so will the water be salty. What comes out of our taps speaks the truth about the spring, and what comes out of our mouths reveals the disposition of our hearts. Secondly, “Can a fig-tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs?” (3:12) If we plant a plum stone in our garden, we are not going to get an apple tree. We will get a plum tree, because the fruit is determined by the root. Good fruit comes from good roots, and kind, compassionate words derive from the deep spring within our hearts.

        Whatever is in our hearts will be what we speak, so what do our hearts need? James asks, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom” (3:13). It is not earthly wisdom we need, but wisdom that comes from heaven. Verses 16-17 says, “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”

        Words that love, build up, encourage and mend will find their spring in the wisdom of God, and as James remarked earlier, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (1:5). We first need to recognize our lack of wisdom, and when we ask for it, the wonderful thing is the wisdom God gives is wrapped up in Jesus Christ. Paul writes, “It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God…” (1 Corinthians 1:30). In Scripture, moral and ethical outworking is always a consequence of the presence of Jesus Christ in our lives, and the measure to which we are in intimate relationship with Him is the measure to which He is made unto us wisdom.


Prayer: Lord, I cannot imagine a greater source for kind and compassionate words than what we have in You. Thank You for your presence in me and making Your wisdom available to me.


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