WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?
I want to share something with you that hit home with me recently.
Let’s take a look at James 3:5-12:
“So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.”
What a particularly challenging passage of Scripture! And yet it is so appropriate for a world that is experiencing tremendous division and outright hatred. Battle lines have been drawn and people have chosen sides. If we are “connected” to the world in any way, it takes very little time before you run up against the vitriolic, barely-concealed rage of one group against another. We are seeing everything from aggressive outrage to wishing physical harm on people to division among family and friends.
This is being played out everyday on TV, social media, workplaces, stores, family gatherings, etc. The ugliness of what I witness is especially disheartening when I see my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ engage in the hostile “debate tactics” that look like the rest of the world. And this should not be! As ambassadors for Christ, we are called to be different.
1 PETER 2:9 – But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
Does this mean we don’t speak truth? Are we not to engage in the battle? Defend what is right in God’s eyes?
Of course we are supposed to!! Make no mistake…I am NOT telling you to sit in the background while the war wages in front of you.
But our weapons are different from the world. We do not battle with demeaning words, sarcasm, or name-calling. Nor do we wish suffering as punishment, yell the latest catchphrase more loudly than someone in opposition to us, be intimidating, act aggressively, devise evil, or vent our feelings by “reading someone the riot act.”
We are to be strong in the Lord and His power. Our weapon is the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. We deflect the fiery arrows of the enemy with our shield of Faith. We are to put on the whole Armor of God – girding ourselves with Truth, our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, taking up the helmet of salvation and putting on the breastplate of righteousness. (Ephesians 6:10-20)
All of these are so that we can stand and withstand.
But that’s not all! You are to be about our Father’s business.
We are to pray with all prayer and supplication. Read the Word! Pay attention to how many people experienced major victories because they prayed & fasted!
We are to repent & turn away from sin!! We are to lay aside every weight and sin and run our race with endurance, looking to Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2)
We are to be OBEDIENT to the Lord and all the He calls us to do! (Acts 5:29)
We are to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:19)
We are to confess the Lord before men (Matthew 10:32) and make disciples! (Matthew 28:19-20)
We are to praise God and give Him all glory, at ALL times. (Hebrews 13:15)
Nowhere in a God’s Word do we see God’s people winning battles by hurling insults, mocking other, throwing around snide comments, or making loud declarations driven by fear.
We cannot be praising the Lord and declaring we love Him, and then turn around and speak evil, sowing discord, wishing evil upon others. Doing this misrepresents the Lord and what it means to be a Christ-follower to the rest of the world that so desperately needs to know Jesus. Plus, it sows discord among your brothers and sisters and is a stumbling block as it entices other Christians to participate.
It’s time to look different, my fellow believers. It’s time to stand, not in defiance based on an “I’m going to do what I want to do” mentality, but on the solid foundation of our Lord.
We are not to wage war like the world. Our purpose and calling are still the same. Love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and mind, being obedient in all He has called us to do. Share the good news of Jesus with others. Stand firm in a way that is worthy of the One who has called you His own.
Walk purposefully, my friends!