Sunday, 26 December 2021
by Abraham Verghese
Speak “Life or Death”?
James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.
Proverbs 18 : 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
“It is impossible for me to control what I say. It is said before I realise what I have said.” Yes, sometimes we may feel as though we have no control over what we say. But that is all it is – a feeling.
Dr Lawrence Crabb , a Christian psychologist, says “The loss of felt choice does not mean the loss of real choice“. The Book of James tells us that “the tongue is a small part of the body” (James 3 : 5 ). The tongue, it sounds as if it has a personality, not only a physical part of the body. Whatever it is, what really matters is the words the tongue produces.
To rephrase Proverbs 18: 21 “Death and life are in the power of the words the tongue produces”. There is a production of words from the tongue. Those words come from the heart before they land on a person’s tongue.
To further rephrase Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the spoken words that come out of the heart”. We praise our Lord and Father with our tongue, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness” (James 3 : 9 ). Words are containers of power that create action. They either build up or tear down. Words have the power to bring life or death physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It’s a matter of cause and effect. God has always given humanity a choice between life and death – in the garden of Eden, before Moses led the people of Israel into the promised land, when Israel was under siege by the Babylonians. Humans have the choice to rule the power of the tongue. However, that can be difficult to master as James 3: 8 says “but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison”.
So where did the choice go? It’s still there. God has given us the way to choose life and tame our tongue. The way to choose life and tame our tongue is deeply rooted in Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the life, and the word made flesh. To tame our tongue is to pay attention to what is in our heart. “ A good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and an evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. “( Luke 6 :45 ).
Being filled with Him fills our hearts with life. James and Paul tell us how to put the right things in our hearts. “ Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. “(Colossians 3 : 16)
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. Human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Life and death are in the power of the tongue and with the help of the Holy Spirit we can choose to speak life.
Heavenly Father, we admit that our tongues have too many times been a problem. Too often we speak before we think, and at times while we are still thinking, we start speaking, and not in the right way or with the right words. Help us Father God and lead us to speak life that give You honor and glory. In Jesus mighty name we ask. Amen.
2021 年 12 月 26星期日
雅各书 1: 19 我亲爱的弟兄们，你们要知道，人人都应该快快地听，慢慢地说，慢一点动怒，。
箴言 18 : 21 生与死都在舌头的权下； 爱把弄这权柄的，必自食其果
基督教心理学家，劳伦斯克拉布博士（Dr Lawrence Crabb）说：”失去感觉上的选择并不意味着失去真正的选择”。雅各书告诉我们“舌头只是身体的一小部分”（雅各书 3：5）。舌头，听起来好像是有个性的，而不仅仅是身体的一个物理部分。不管是什么，真正重要的是舌头产生的话语。
若是给箴言 18:21进一步重新措辞，“生死取决于发自内心的言语”。我们用舌头赞美我们的主和父神，也用舌头咒诅按照神的样式造的人”（雅各书 3：9）。语言是创造行动的力量容器。它们要么建立，要么拆毁。
被祂充满会使我们的心充满生命。雅各和保罗告诉我们如何把正确的事情放在心里。 “6 当用各样的智慧，把基督的道理丰丰富富的存在心里，用诗章、颂词、灵歌，彼此教导 ，互相劝戒，心被恩感，歌颂神。 “（歌罗西书 3：16）