For the people of Good Shepherd Church and beyond we are beginning the day in the Word rather than in the world. In support of “The Fine Art Of Belly-Aching” series, we’re starting each day this week in the book of James.
As part of that project, I am giving daily reading prompts. Here is today’s:
As I have mentioned over the last couple of days, James CHAPTER ONE sets the table with subjects that the rest of the book circles back around and addresses in more detail. That’s the case with today’s reading – in this case, both the human tongue and human wisdom.
In 1:19, James reminds his readers (and “hearers”—remember, most of the books in the biblical library were written to be HEARD more than READ) that everyone should be “slow to speak.”
James 3:1-12 tells us why. Notice all the analogies James uses in talking about the human tongue: a bit (3:3), a rudder (3:4), a spark (3:5), and a full on fire (3:6). A power all out of proportion to its size. Then James summarizes the power that the tongue has for good and evil in 3:10: both praise and cursing. Gulp. You’ve probably all met people who love Jesus but hate everyone else. As what emerges out of the tongue is a reflection of what you genuinely feel in your spirit, how is it with your soul?
In 1:5, James gives advice on what to do if we desire wisdom. Then, true to form, he circles back around to that same topic in 3:13-18. And what a contrast he draws between earthly wisdom and Godly wisdom! Earthly wisdom wants to get ahead. Godly wisdom wants to make peace. I suspect we could use some folks willing to submit their wisdom and their intelligence to God so he could use it to make peace in our homes, churches, and nation.