Guilty As Charged

James 2:10 says, “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” Note the word ‘all’ again. It is impossible for anyone to keep the whole law.

James 3:2 says, “For we stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.” James wrote to his readers about bits in horses’ mouths, and the small rudder on huge ships. Yet, verse 8 says, “No man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”

The tongue is so situated in the body that it can defile the whole body. Have you ever spoken death words, pronouncements, or bitter root judgements against another or yourself? Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” We will eat the fruit of the words that come out of our mouth.

Have you ever been guilty of James 3:10? It says, “Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” It all starts in our heart’s thoughts.

When we entertain thoughts against anyone or circumstance, we enter into the realm of cursing. It is not talking about using swear words, but rather wounding words. Verse 9 says that we are all made in the similitude of God.” Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth…”

Let me give you an illustration of corrupt. Isaiah 64:6 says that our fleshly righteousness is as filthy rags. Years ago my dad had a rental. The lady didn’t pay for rent so he used his key to get in. As he opened the door, he was hit with corrupt smells.

She had thrown down the clothes she wore onto the bottom of the closet. The cats (plural) had used it for their dumping ground. My dad had to hire a man to pitch fork the clothes out the window into his pickup. They were corrupt, filthy, and absolutely unfit.

Here are Peter’s words of admonishment. 1 Peter 3:9 says, “Not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.”

Ephesians 4:29 ended with these words about our words, “…what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” This applies to ourselves, as well as to those we are speaking to. 

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