Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. James 3:10
During the first years of our lives, we do an amazing thing. We learn how to talk.
A child learning to talk is able to make any of the thousands of sounds used by all the languages of the world. But as the child learns the language of his or her people, unused sounds disappear. Few English speakers can copy the sound of a Spanish-speaking person pronouncing a rolling "r." Had they learned it as children, it would be easy.
How we make sounds, however, is not as important as what we do with the sounds we make. A lifetime spent uttering silly oaths and vile curses, of speaking the name of our God in anger rather than in prayer, builds a pattern. Prayer becomes a foreign language to the tongue trained to curse.
A lifetime spent in praising God with our tongues, however, equips us with a language of worship. Our mouths stutter at anything foul. Unclean words are no longer part of our vocabulary.
To avoid the dilemma described by James in the text, we do well to practice the language of praise. When we do, we find no lack of words to say or hymns to sing in praise of our loving God.
PRAYER: O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise; in Jesus' name. Amen.
(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)