With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.James 3:9-10 NIV
James had a lot to say about the tongue, and most of it was not very good. It is amazing how much trouble that little 3-ounce chunk of flesh can cause. James directed his comments in this passage to believers. To people who use their tongue to praise their creator. Yet are oftentimes guilty of speaking poorly of other people, of God’s creation.
Oh, but how easy it is to fall into that habit of putting other people down. People who are not as ‘good’ as we are. We may not even be conscious that we are doing it. Until we hear the same thing directed at us.
To be clear, James is not warning us about speaking out about sin and the evil we see about us. But he is warning us against equating a person’s actions with their worth. God so loved the people of this world, in spite of their sin, that he gave his Son for them. Should I not also love them and treat them with respect? Even when I speak against their sin? Don’t let praise and cursing come out of the same mouth.