EADING: Jeremiah 25, 35, 36, 45; Psalm 133;  James 3

I live in a world of words. I’m a preacher and teacher by calling—and almost everything I do is connected to my spoken words. I also love to write, and I often agonize over every word I write. I spend many hours each week grading essays and written exams, and again I focus on almost every word. My daily and weekly reading requires attention to the words of others. And, I lead in my role at Southeastern Seminary via, at a minimum, my words.

Words just matter.

In fact, words can be either a witness to Christ or a detriment to our witness. On one hand, we can speak words that honor the Lord and point to His glory; on the other hand, we can speak words that make others question the validity of our Christianity. Sadly, both messages sometimes come from the same lips: “With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in God’s likeness. Blessing and cursing come out of the same mouth” (James 3:9-10). James, though, was quite clear that “these things should not be this way” (James 3:10). Indeed, it ought to be that such contradictory speech from a Christ-follower is as unusual as a spring that produces both sweet and bitter water, a fig tree that produces olives, or a grapevine that produces figs. It simply should not be named among believers – but the tongue is a mighty force.

May our words be only pleasing to God today.

PRAYER: “Lord, guard my lips today.” 

TOMORROW’S READING: Weekend is for catch-up and review

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