“All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.” - James 3:7-12 NIV
The other day at the gym, I was talking with a young guy (younger than me anyway) in the locker room about things of faith. It’s kind of cool how that happens from time to time. I tend to get more business and have more faith focused conversations in the gym locker room than I do anywhere else.
But I digress.
The guy had been humming a praise song that I recognized and thus a conversation ensued about the song, where he went to church and the importance of faith in our lives.
At that point, another guy walked in that he obviously knew.
His buddy asked my new friend how he was doing and how his workout was and his response kind of confused me a bit.
“I had a $%!! (heck) of a workout. I worked my %@# (tail end) off.”
In one breath with me, he was praising God in word and song. The next, he was cussing with a friend.
Now, let me make it clear. I’m not judging the guy. Growing up, my dad was like that. A few cuss words had worked their way into his vocabulary. So much so that he didn’t realize that had cussed 10 times in a conversation. So, I’m not trying to throw him under the bus. I was just confused a bit.
As I thought about it, I realized that not only was he like my dad but my gym buddy was a lot like me (and maybe like you). Maybe not necessarily in the gym or in public anywhere like that but...
... one moment singing praises alone in my car, the next frustrated and mumbling not so nice things at the car that pulled out in front of me or stopped/slowed for no apparent reason
... one moment praying and lifting up my kids, the next yelling at them about running late again and their messy room and getting moving so they are not late..
... one moment praising God for my dogs and the fun we have throwing the ball in the back yard, the next cursing the dogs for not giving me their full attention - distracted by a strange new smell, a falling leaf, a squirrel.
.. one minute teaching and preaching God’s message, the next cursing his creation
My brothers, that should not be... a salt spring cannot produce fresh water.
O Lord, help me… help us control our tongue. Help us with our faith walk. Help us draw near to you and leave the things of this world behind. Help us be like that fresh spring. Help us shine as You shine. Let the things that frustrate us cease to be frustrating, as we focus on You and Your peace, forgiveness, hope, mercy and grace. O Lord, help me… help us be more like You. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Keep the Faith... Carpe Diem