Meditation Commentary on James 3:9-12
9Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 12Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
James chapter 3 has a lot to say about the tongue and what an influence the spoken word has on mankind. In verses 1-8, we have seen the tongue spoken of as boastful, a fire, a world of iniquity, evil, and poisonous. We continue to hear more about the tongue in verses 9-12.
It is ironic how in one minute, we can accomplish such good things with our words, while in the next we can do such harm. As Christians, we so often sing songs to the Lord, blessing and praising His name. We go to church each week and are never a minute late for chapel. We do these wonderful things, while at the same time literally bashing and tearing down our brothers and sisters in Christ. In Genesis 1:27, we see that man was created in God’s image: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Therefore, when we tear down a fellow believer, we are in a way, speaking against God. For example, if I was a great sculptor, and had created a wonderful piece of art, and someone said that it was the ugliest thing that they had ever seen, I would take it personally. I believe this is somewhat how God is toward His creation. He has a purpose and reason for creating each and every person. I am not, however, saying that God needs man’s approval in order for Him to be satisfied.
The word “bless,” spoken of in verse 10 comes from the Greek word “eulogeo,” which also means to “speak well of.” We are not to speak well of people and at the same time tear others down. This is a form of hypocrisy. Proverbs 11:9 says, “An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.”
From this passage, I am reminded to be sensitive to my daily speech. It is easy to find myself not speaking well of my brothers and sisters all the time; especially in an environment like ours at Verity.