Think of a kaleidoscope. When you turn it just a smidgen, the whole entire scene changes dramatically. That is what happened yesterday when the Holy Spirit took me back to James 3:6. He gave me a whole different application. It says of the tongue, “ so set among our members that it defiles the whole body…” 

This time think of ‘members’ and ‘whole body’ in the setting of a family, church, or job interconnections. Words can heal or they can wound. They can bring life or they can bring defilement through dissension, offense, bitterness, and unforgiveness. Words are first thoughts.

Interconnections thrive when our thoughts are righteous. As we walk in the fear of the Lord, our thoughts, purpose, and actions will enhance our relationships. They will keep us from thoughts that bring inner defilement. They will give us words that build up and not tear down. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”

The worldwide pandemic has changed everything. Interpersonal relationships have been tested. Hidden dross has surfaced. It created something like volcanic action. Old hurts have festered, tempers have shortened, greed has surfaced. Amos 3:3 says, “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?”

Micah 6:8 says, “He has show you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” Close quarters with animosity is like a powder keg about to go off. Colossians 3:12-13 says, “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another…” How do we do that? Verse 13 continued, “…forgiving one another…”

When we wake up each morning, we need to set our heart to forgive. That will position us to offer the same forgiveness we received. Verse 13 documents that. It finished with, “…if anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” We need to see this as a command. Forgive AS you have been forgiven.

James 3:13 Amplified says, “Who is there among you who is wise and intelligent? Then let him by his noble living show forth his (good) works with the (unobtrusive) humility (which is the proper attribute) of true wisdom.” Where do we get this kind of wisdom? Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

David’s Psalm 34 gives us the instruction we need to walk in the fear of the Lord. Verses 11-14 says, “Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Who is the man who loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”

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