With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water. James 3:9-12 ESV
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26-27 ESV
But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. Matthew 15:18
When Mary Poppins came to be the nanny for Jane and Michael and their baby brother and sister, it didn’t take them long to realize that their new nanny was magic. One thing that happened on the first day was that Mary Poppins gave them some medicine. Michael was first, and he didn’t want to take the medicine, but when he did, he found out it tasted like strawberry ice. Jane was next, and for her the medicine tasted like lime-juice cordial. John and Barbara, the babies, were next, and for them the medicine tasted like milk. Finally Mary Poppins took her own dose, and she said that it tasted like rum punch. Jane and Michael wondered how one bottle of medicine could possibly produce different tastes like that. Such a thing would never be possible without some kind of magic.
James wrote about the way two different things come from one tongue. He said that people bless and praise and thank God with their tongues, and then with the same tongues they turn around and curse and say hateful and angry things to people. This shouldn’t happen, James said. How can we speak of God with love and respect and then speak of people who are made in God’s image with hate? God loves everyone he made, and Jesus died for everyone. It is wrong for God’s people to speak hatefully to people who are precious to God. It shouldn’t happen, just as we don’t expect a spring to sometimes give salt water and sometimes fresh water, or a tree of one kind to produce a different kind of fruit.
Hateful words for other people shouldn’t come out of our mouths, but they do. That’s because we still carry sin inside ourselves, and the sin in our hearts comes out of our mouths. We could never clean the sin out of our hearts all by ourselves, but Jesus came to die on the cross to pay for the sins in our heart and the hateful words that come out of our mouths. He forgives us every day, and he sends us his Holy Spirit to give us new hearts of love for all the people God has made.
Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive us for using our tongues to hurt people that you love. Help us learn to speak words of kindness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Travers, P. L. Mary Poppins New York: Harcourt Brace, 1934