James 3:9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness.
I am the youngest of four children. With this birth order position comes a special talent for bugging the stew out of your older siblings. I was exercising said capability one afternoon by marching around in a circle while playing the recorder as loudly as I could. This game was especially fun since my older brother was trying to watch television at that precise moment and was only feet away from me.
As I tromped around and tweeted my brother politely asked me to stop. After several requests his voice took on a greater degree of urgency and command until he finally hurled a pillow in my path in a desperate attempt to silence his pesky little sister. And silence me he did. One moment I was busy irritating my brother, the next I was stumbling over the pillow as the recorder lodged itself in the roof of my mouth.
This morning's reading is James 3. This chapter examines the power of the mouth to cause irreparable damage when careless words are hurled about. As Christmas rapidly approaches it is easy for me to recall Christmases past when beautiful words of love and affirmation have been penned to me by precious loved ones. Just as effortlessly, I remember words spoken by me or toward me that reflect a heart more reflective of the naughty list than the nice list.
Likewise, that long ago day when I aimed to bother my brother I used my mouth for the wrong without even uttering a word. What comes out of my mouth, starts in my heart (Luke 6:45). I never had to utter a word to clearly communicate my heart's intention. Similarly the silent treatment, my seating arrangement at Christmas dinner or even the ease with which I give love and affection to someone can speak volumes.
Soon we each with gather with friends, family or maybe even neighbors to celebrate the birth of Christ. The question is what will I say when I get there? Will my mouth bear glad tidings? Will my actions bring good will to men? Or will I carnage my relationships with careless words and actions like I bloodied my mouth so long ago with the antagonistic actions of my recorder toting mouth?
Jesus, Saturday is Your birthday. Help me truly honor You not only that day but every day with the words I utter and the actions I present. Feel free to lob a pillow my direction if my heart gets out of line so that when I speak my words form music beautiful to Your ear.