It’s like I’ve said from the beginning, I get it.
I’m right there with you on this one. This anger thing we’ve been speaking of, you are not alone.
Do you know that? You’re not alone.
Anger can express itself in a myriad of ways and if you couldn’t figure out from yesterday’s post over at (in)courage, mine happens to spew forth in the form of words. You know, those critical and destructive ones that do nothing but tear others down..
Maybe for you it’s something different. But for me, my words and mouth and really, my tongue know how to effectively craft and wield the sharp sword of anger.
So I read these words again in James 3. And really friend, just listen..
“We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.” (vs 2)
Did you hear that? All of us, and in so many ways. You’re not alone!
So we put bits into the mouths of horses for obedience and use small rudders to steer large vessels and why should the tongue be any different?
“Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” (vs 5-6)
“Man can tame all creatures, great and small “but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” (vs 7)
And we get this don’t we? This is something we know and see. That our tongue is a restless and powerful tool that can set so much ablaze, steering our lives down a course we never wanted from the start.
But then there’s this…
“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” (vs 9-10)
This should not be! Why?
Because can a spring flow forth both fresh and salt water? Well, no.
And can a fig tree bear olives and a grapevine, figs? Well, no.
So how can the same mouth praise God and curse the one made in His image?
How can I praise God by thanking Him for my spouse and turn around and curse him with the very same mouth?
Friends, how can this be?
And the disconnect is obvious, right? But from where does it stem?
Maybe it lies in not seeing that difficult person, that strained relationship, or that frustrating situation as a gift.
Maybe it lies in not seeing any inconvenience or conflict or disruption as a gift and an opportunity for growth.
And maybe, it really comes down to this. Do we really believe that God working the good for those who love Him means anything else than being conformed to the image of His Son? (Romans 8:28-29)
Those people, that situation, a gift. A place of God conforming us to the image of His Son. A chance for us to submit to His birthing of righteousness within us.
Because if we really did see all as a gift from the hand of God (James 1:17), wouldn’t our tongues take on a different approach?
Each of us, submitted to the inner working. Each of us, acknowledging the challenging as a gift, inviting us to a place of transformation.
Each of us, wielding a different kind of tool, boldly affirming and encouraging in a lavishing wave of grace and love.