We’ll continue our study in James 3 by looking at God’s call to consistent conversation.
Jam. 3:9-12 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. (10) Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. (11) Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? (12) Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
Bless / Curse
James rebukes believers who are not consistent in their conversation. They bless God one minute and curse men made in God’s image (Gen. 1:26) the next. Blessing and cursing from the same mouth – that’s now how it should be. Christians are supposed to use their words wisely. Christ taught us to respond to people according to God’s character, not their character:
Mat. 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Peter reminded his readers of this same concept:
1Pe. 3:8-10 Finally, be ye all likeminded, compassionate, loving as brethren, tenderhearted, humbleminded: (9) not rendering evil for evil, or reviling for reviling; but contrariwise blessing; for hereunto were ye called, that ye should inherit a blessing. (10) For, He that would love life, And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips that they speak no guile:
James gives several examples from nature:
- A fountain is either sweet or bitter, salt water or fresh, but not both.
- A fig tree doesn’t bear olives.
- A grape vine doesn’t produce figs.
All three things produce consistently after their nature. Christians should do the same.
How Are You Doing?
Is your conversation consistently godly?
Read James 3:13-16. What is the best way to show that you are wise?
What are some of the traits of false wisdom?