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James (W6D5) This Should Not Be

Week 6. Friday: This Should Not Be

PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word.

READ: James 3:9-12

9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words

  • Praise our Lord...curse human beings: The word for “praise” here is eulogeō meaning to bless or celebrate with praises. The Greek word for “curse” is kataraomai meaning to speak evil of someone or to speak in a way that brings evil on another person. James is teaching against hypocrisy which was a common theme in the teachings of Jesus (Matthew 23:1-39).

  • Made in God’s likeness: Since human beings are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), to speak against people is to speak against God.

  • This should not be: James is emphasizing the fact that praising God while cursing others should not happen at all in the life of believers. This is non-negotiable. There is no excuse for that kind of hypocrisy.

  • Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?: James ends his teaching on taming the tongue by illustrating how impossible it is to praise God while cursing others. Salt water and fresh water don’t flow from the same spring. Fig trees can’t produce olives. Grapevines can’t produce figs. Therefore, James is arguing that it is not possible to be a believer and be careless and harmful with your words.

APPLY: What is this passage calling me to do?

What are some ways that we curse or speak against others?

In what ways do you need to change the way you speak about others?

PRAY: Ask God to help you change the way you speak about others.

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