#DailyDevotion Just What Are You Doing With Your Lips (Or Keyboard)?
James 3:2 For we all stumble in many ways, and if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 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! 6 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. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
Luther writes in the Large Catechism on the eighth commandment: Third, with respect to that which refers to all of us,—all sins of the tongue, by which we can injure or offend our neighbor, are forbidden in this commandment. For, bearing false witness is nothing less than the action of the lips ; whatever we do, then, to the injury of our neighbor, by an act of our lips, God prohibits ;… And to these especially belongs this most detestable vice of secret detraction or slander, with which Satan has so deeply infected us ; concerning which a great deal might be said. For it is a pernicious and universal vice, that every one prefers hearing evil rather than good about his neighbor. And though we ourselves are so wicked that we cannot suffer any one to circulate an evil report concerning us, we all, however, ardently desire the whole world to applaud us in
the most commending terms, and yet we are unwilling to hear any commendation concerning others.
I am quite certain he is thinking about what James is talking about here unfortunately. For we Christians more often or not are like the people Luther is talking about in this quote. We love to speak ill of others, tearing them down but we will not put up with a single word spoken against us. We will justify our ill spoken words and rip into someone else rightly speaking about our sins.
But that is not what Christ Jesus has called us to do. Jesus says, Mat 5:44-48 “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (45) so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (46) For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? (47) And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? (48) You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Paul writes, Rom 8:34 “Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” As Jesus speaks a good word for us we are called to do likewise.
Heavenly Father, forgive us the sins of our lips and give us lips that intercede and bless people that we may be perfect as you are perfect. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.