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Andy Stoddard ~ If You Can’t Say Nothin’ Good

Sometimes when we read scripture we wonder, “what can this passage be saying to me in this moment?  How can I understand it?  What may God want me to do with this truth at this time in my life?”  Sometimes it can be hard to understand, hard to deal with. 

And then there are other passages that are so simple they leap off the page.  Today’s passage, to me, is one of the “leap off the page” passages.  Listen to what we are told in James 3: 7-10: 

For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue – a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. 

Like our mamas said growing up, “If you can’t say nothin’ good, don’t say nothin’ at all.”  Today, the way we “say” things may be different, though.  Sometimes we “say” with our mouths.   

Sometimes we say it with our Facebook posts and comments.  Sometimes Twitter. 

Sometimes Snapchat or Instagram. 

Sometimes texting. 

As Christians, we cannot do this.  We cannot be in the business of tearing each other down.  The world does a good enough job of that.  We’ve got to build up.  We’ve got to speak kindness.  We’ve got to speak grace. 

Now, I’m going to get on my soapbox that I’ve been on for a while now.  I’m not saying we have to agree with each other.  I’m not saying, honestly, that we’ve even got to like each other. But we’ve got to realize and live into what James says here – they are made in the likeness of our Creator.  Everyone.  Folks we like, folks we don’t. Those who are right, those who are wrong.  All of us are made in God’s image. 

And we’ve got to treat each other that way. 

We’ve got to speak to each other that way. 

We as Christians must season our language with grace. 

Today, may God’s grace tame our tongues.  May we speak grace to one another.  May we speak grace to those we agree with, and to those we don’t agree with. 

May we treat everyone as they are, someone made in the image of God.