From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. (ESV)
It was an evening like many others. There were a small number of people gathered around large folding tables. The smell of mediocre quality coffee let its presence be known with a smell that boasted a greater flavor than the liquid could provide. Above this meeting place was a sanctuary that on Sunday morning would be filled with the praises of God's people. But not down here in this room.
This room was for the business of the church. Agendas were distributed. Roll was taken. Minutes were read. Opinions were shared. It was a night like many others. I remember this night. It was the night that words turned into hateful barbs meant to destroy. It was the night that seemed to forget the proximity of a "sanctuary" that would have been repulsed by such painful words.
Blessing and cursing. It amazed me then, and continues to amaze me now, how people who make such bold claims of faith can be so exuberant in their worship of God, and so brutally cruel with their words they use to attack their brother or sister in Christ. James says, "My brothers, these things ought not to be so." But sadly, they are so.
We make a grave mistake when we compartmentalize our lives. We think that we can have the "I worship God" compartment that is activated on Sunday mornings, funerals, and missions trips. The other compartment is the "I live like the biggest heathen I know" compartment. It seems to go into effect approximately two minutes after the Sunday benediction. God wants us to be sanctified and holy all of the time. We are not to be living two separate lives.
Examine your words that you use. In the course of one day do you find that cursing seems to flow just as freely as blessing? These things ought not to be so. Lord Jesus, help us to give you control of our lives, including our tongue.