JAMES: A DIFFERENT KIND OF WOMAN

Hello ladies! Be sure to have your Bibles out. We’re going to be in James, one of my favorite books of the Bible.

James only has 5 chapters and so I encourage you to read the entire book but for this specific devotional we are going to be hanging out in chapter 3,4.

Let’s love plunge in.

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Oh the tongue. Such a small part of the body but has the BIGGEST impact.

How often do we wake up and pray that the Spirit tames our tongue? I don’t know if I have done that very much. But can you imagine if we did?

Think of all the ways your tongue can get you into trouble:

GOSSIP

INAPPROPRIATE JOKING

SLANDER

OUTBURSTS OF EMOTION

NAME CALLING

BLASPHEMY

LYING

BOASTING

COMPLAINING

TEACHING INACCURATE – FALSE TEACHINGS

Y’all, that’s a WHOLE lot of trouble!!!!

Women of the world have a reputation for being gossips but you want to know something incredibly heartbreaking? Women of the Church have the SAME if not a greater reputation for this. It should cause us to fall to our knees and repent.

Ladies, think about it: HOW ARE WE ANY DIFFERENT THAN WOMEN WHO DON’T KNOW JESUS when we’re talking just like them?

Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

The tongue creates sparks that then turn into great fires. Our words carry so much power in them: power to uplift and encourage or the power to completely destroy. Talk about feeling like an X-Men or a Superhero. Our tongues can cause a ludicrous amount of pain and problems.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

Think about Shamu or giant elephants that have been trained by humans to obey on command. It’s incredible really that a massive killer whale will go do flips and spins because he has been tamed to do so. But James says that even though wild animals are being tamed, the tongue cannot be, at least not within our own power. It just can’t. If you look at verse 1,2 of this chapter he says:

We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. 

WOAH. BACK THAT TINY TRAIN UP.

*beep! beep!*

Did James just say that if we could control the tongue, we would be able to control our entire bodies?

He did but none of us, other than Jesus, is without fault. So he is saying NONE OF US (other than Christ, being perfect) are able to control ourselves.

This is why women of the world gossip and can be so incredibly hateful with their words. This is why reality shows draw in such massive audiences to watch the drama of women play out. I used to watch The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Oh my…talk about the damage words can do.

So we can understand why the women who are unbelievers do such things: tell secrets, put others down, make fun of others, tell stories they shouldn’t be sharing, lie, complain, blaspheme the Lord, etc. They have no bit in their mouth to help steer them to do what God would have them do. But as Christians…why do we the same things the unbelievers do?

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11

We, as Women of the Lord, use out tongues to both praise Jesus and to put other’s down who are created in His likeness…His children. Can you see how scary this imagery is? God has EVERY RIGHT to come at us with a GIANT “HOW DARE YOU!” when we do this. If anything has ever scared you enough to pee your pants and shake and sweat and want to hide…this should definitely evoke those kinds of reactions.

This is VERY serious.

Going on in James to chapter 4:11,12

Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. 

Now James warns his readers not to turn on each other in slander or in judgment of each other. As used in the Bible, slander means to question someone’s authority, to spread hurtful lies about them, or even to say unkind, unhelpful things about them. To judge someone is to assume a position of authority over them. James may have in mind Leviticus 19:16, one of the verses found just before the “love command” (Leviticus 19:18) he quoted earlier in his letter. The earlier verse says, “You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people…”

James’s Jewish readers had high respect for the Old Testament Law. His point is that to disobey the Law by judging another person is a way of putting yourself above the Law. If you’re going to be a doer of the Law, just be a doer. Don’t be a volunteer judge of how others are doing. Again, James is urging Christians to walk in humility in our relationship with God and with each other. As he will say in the next verse, God is the only judge we or our neighbors need. -BibleRef.com

Ladies, we have got to be different. We have the help of the Holy Spirit to be able to control our tongues, even when it’s just sooooooo tempting to let that little muscle go bonkers. I get it. Sometimes gossip is fun. It’s juicy! It can make us feel good because ha! someone else is going through worse than we are. It can feel therapeutic to vent about someone and just malign their character. I get it! I’ve done it!

But this is not how we are to be as Christians and we need to BREAK this terrible terrible reputation of women in the church being nosey gossips. 

In chapter 4, James tells us:

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Here is how we change our sinful habit of using our tongue for wrong.

We submit. We resist the urge to participate in such evil. We draw near to the Father. We repent. We humble ourselves. 

Think about the amazing things you CAN use your tongue for:

UPLIFTING

ENCOURAGING

PRAYING

SINGING … yes, even us with the terrible Scuttle voices lol

SHARING THE GOSPEL

DEFENDING SOMEONE

PRAISE

WORSHIP

RECITING SCRIPTURE

We have this incredible power to use our words for either good or evil. This is your Anakin to Darth Vader moment friends. Which side will you choose?

Because like James said, we cannot use our tongues to both praise Jesus and hurt others with our words.

And gossip, no matter if the person you’re talking about EVER finds out, causes destruction, division, and a greater foothold for satan to use in your own life.

Let’s make others attracted to our words because they’re centered in God’s unlimited grace and goodness.

Let’s have compassion and kindness drip from our lips like soothing honey.

Let’s put out fires instead of either watching them ignite and burn or by adding more sparks.

Let’s be brave enough to walk away from the women who choose not to tame their tongues. Let’s make a stand.

Let’s be a different kind of woman.