James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
All of us have ample occasions to observe our words and the words of those around us. Especially our own words. Are you that way? This verse always convicts me about my words. As we know, words do hurt. They are very powerful. Solomon taught us that they have the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21). They can kill. They can give life. I have seen both, haven’t you? Relationships can be damaged by our words. Relationships can be strengthened by our words. Our words affect our marriages and our children. They affect our friendships and our families. They are either hurting or healing! They sting or they strengthen. They bite or they bless. They build-up or they tear-down. They make me and others better or they make me and others worse. Solomon stated it like this: There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise is health (Proverbs 12:18). My words and your words are overwhelmingly powerful.
In the verse I listed above, James teaches us that a “religious” man must be very wise with his words. When we gossip or criticize or judge (and so forth) we not only destroy our “religion” (it is vain), we also deceive ourselves. Have you ever heard a person make accusations or statements that were just not true and wondered “why would they say that?” Perhaps these verses explain why. What we say, especially when we say it over and over again, can eventually deceive us! We can assume we are right when in fact we may not be right at all. Have you ever seen a good family with “bad” kids? Perhaps these verses can explain that too. With our words, we can negate the very things we claim to believe and our “religion is vain” (worthless or useless or without profit). Hopefully, you can see the point – our words are powerful!
May God help me and you to “bridle” our tongue!
Thanks for reading,