No one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring. James 3:8b-12 NLT
There are times that we might find ourselves minimizing the frequency that we sin because of what we say. This is how Satan deceives us. It is important that we seriously consider what James is saying from the text. If we are not monitoring the words that come out of our mouths, we might have already harmed several people and have ignored that we caused the hurt. This is why we need to be cautious in relying to our own abilities to effect a change for without God working within us, our selfish and sinful nature will not be changed. Then James provided several illustrations to show how inconsistent we are in the use of our tongue. He says, “Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God” (James 3:9). Then he provided an obvious contrast: “And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth” (James 3:10). The most honorable use of our mouths should be to praise and glorify God. And the most despicable thing that we can use our mouths is to curse the person God made in His own image and likeness (see Genesis 1:26-27). So, when we curse someone, we show how unauthentic our attitude of praise to God. Our best praise for God is tainted by the impurity of the words that come out from our mouths. This is why we should never ignore the possibility that we will still commit sin despite our relationship with God. We still have our old sinful nature which is supposed to be dead yet we kept on resurrecting. This is why James said “my brothers and sisters, this is not right” (James 3:10b). Left to ourselves, we cannot control the tongue, but, thanks be to God, for when we have Him in our lives as Lord and Savior, we are not left to ourselves. The Lord has given us his Word to guide us and his Spirit to indwell us. When the Word and the indwelling presence of the Spirit are convicting us of our sin because of the misuse of our tongue, let us not hesitate to repent and ask God’s forgiveness.