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The most dangerous muscle in our body – James 3:9-12

January 5, 2010

James 3:9-12 :  My dear friends, with our tongues we speak both praises and curses. We praise our Lord and Father, and we curse people who were created to be like God, and this isn’t right. Can clean water and dirty water both flow from the same spring? Can a fig tree produce olives or a grapevine produce figs? Does fresh water come from a well full of salt water? (Contemporary English Version)

I caught up with a good friend today who shared how over Christmas she hosted her brother and parents, both from out of town.  What was meant to be a lovely family time turned into a two day heated argument between her brother and her parents.

Wow families can be hard work! The thing with families is that we know how each other ticks. Me and my brother know how to get each other annoyed and sometimes the big red angry button is pressed without even realising it.  And a harsh comment can sit with me for a long time.  The tongue is truly the most dangerous muscle in our body.

As a Christian the path is clear here, James 3:9-12 states that I am to major on praise and eliminate harsh condemning language completely.  Both cannot exist together, just as clean water and dirty water cannot come from the same spring. I need to seek the clean water which is where I am encouraging and refresh those around me, rather than discourage and tire people.

It is also like a fig tree or grapevine which is where my words clearly display and promote my faith (the fruit of my relationship with Jesus).

And the final image used in the James reading is of fresh water where my conduct, what I say, draws people toward God as fresh water attracts people.

So what a challenge!  When I speak, I am to encourage and refresh, to share my faith and to draw people towards God! Wow!

This is day one of making that a reality.

God bless,

Rev Mark

To become part of the 2010 Constantly Seeking God Challenge or to subscribe to this blog  click here.

PS If you want to leave a comment click on ‘Comments’ below and scroll down.

Yahweh’s Yarn in a Year : 1 year Bible reading plan

The Portion for today: Isaiah Chapters 1-6

Also feel free to discuss the readings within the comments section of this blog.. let us grow together!


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  1. Sister Pam OP permalink

    This is very true. I heard some good advice along these lines. When angry with or disliking someone, or having been wronged by an individual, imagine a golden frame surrounding that person. This is a person loved by God. God desires nothing but the best for that person including love and healing. Anything that works counter to that is working against God. As God’s representatives on earth we must be and do for that person what God desires.

    • Myra permalink

      Sister Pam after reading the passage from Rev Mark this morning then reading your post I have a greater understanding of what it is to uplift instead of tear down. Many times people will say things to others to hurt them because they themselves have insecurities that they are not able to deal with themselves or they are hurting and the only way they know how to counter that hurt is to make others hurt too. I have been one of those people who have said things to others to hurt them and now I know why. When I was younger I was a victim of teasing pretty much all the way until I quit highschool. I come from a single parent home and my mother did the best she could for us but we were lacking in what the other kids would deem fashionable and I was an overweight kid it was horrible for me and I would lash out alot. My mother was abused also by my oldest sisters father and he tried to kill her he shot her and I remember one day asking my mother if when she got shot did she lose alot of weight because in my mind I was thinking well maybe if I get shot I can lose this weight and people will stop teasing me so much. I could see the hurt in my mothers eyes when I asked her that and it crushed me. She told me I didnt have to go back to school if it was that bad and I didnt. Since then I have completed many stages of education and I am currently in college to get my bachelors in education but the teasing that I had to endure hurt me and I know that I have hurt others by teasing them. I ask the Lord right now to forgive me for hurting any of his children and to forgive those who hurt me as well. People have no idea how it affects others mentally and physically to be bullied and picked on and my message to anybody who finds joy in bringing people down would be to stop now because it is not pleasing in the eyes of the lord and karma will catch up with you in the end. God bless you Sister Pam:o)

      • Hi Myra, I am so excited about this study and I believe we can be a help to one another through our life experiences. I feel your pain what you went through as a child because I was the opposite of you. I was a twiggie and had no shape and was flat chested. We got hurt, but it is our past now and the Lord can help us move forward. He sees you as white as snow and He went to the cross just for you. Imagine that, if you were the only person on this earth He would of done it for you. Sometimes people hurt others because they may see something of themselves in that person and they don’t like it. We are healed in the name of Jesus and I wish you all the best as you grow in this study. Sound like you are on the right track with your education. I will pray for you daily and remember you are the apple of God’s eye and He has only things for you. I was told wieght watchers is a good way to start with over being overweight. Remember me twiggie, I am now 182 and I need to take off the pounds. God Bless you Ceil

      • Sister Pam OP permalink

        Thank you so much Myra and God bless you. As an educator you will be able to put your experience and wisdom to good use by preventing other children from being hurt the way you were, helping those who bully and those who are bullied. No one knows the pain like someone who has gone through it. God bless you and be with your always.

      • Lorna permalink

        Dear Myra, Shalom my sister in Christ, i just have to reply to your little letter above, i feel for you and your mum so much, im also a single mum and i have been through similar life to what it sounds like your mum knows. my heart goes out to you, your story brought tears to my eyes, because i know all to well this kind of life.My daughter is also over weight and i learned alot from your openness about your hurt, Thankyou. (im saddened by society’s damage to peoples body image expectations, we all need to just work on being right with God because ultimately it matters what He thinks of us, not other imperfect peoples, and when we are right with God all is well with our souls and bodies.)
        Fortunately and all Praise and Glory to God, for He has lifted me and my children from that evil and Saved and healed us in a multitude of ways, the list goes on and on. from fear and anxiety He loved us to Joy and Salvation fearing not!, because He is greater than everything i (we) ever lived through and He is my Light my Fortress my Almighty Councillor, my Safe Refuge and my …….Everything. The trusted Lover of my soul.
        without Him i would surely be dead, not only in the physically but also Spiritually, and i know God can and will continue to cover you with His love, Myra just continue to serve and Listen to Him and obey Him and Seek Him every day. we should strive to do so unceasingly, I will be praying for you.

    • Thank you Sister Pam for your words of wisdom for me. A simple gold frame. I use to ask God to show me how He sees the person I am having trouble with and He was amazing what He showed me. I lost that and I want to have a heart after God, not judgemental, and be a loveing person. We may be the only Bible a person reads. We need to live what we believe. I have a big mouth and have hurt so many people and thanks to this study, it is time for a change. I am so excited about this journey and how we can talk and encourage one another. I need to think before I speak and only God can help me change because I can’t do it in my own strength. Thank you being here. God Bless Ceil

    • Barbara-Ann permalink

      Thanks Sr. Pam – that is so very true…I am working on it – trying to be obedient to the Holy Spirit and NOT use so many negatives in my speech and especially with those “sandpaper” people (they rub you the wrong way) who STILL “are” God’s children also and deserve our encouragement even if they don’t seem to want it! I am prayerfully seeking more compassion for those who show none to me! God bless & keep you in 2010 – may He enlarge the harvest of your righteousness!

    • Donna permalink

      Thank you for some very good advice. I just had a discussion with a person today about stress. We tend to have stress when we are focusing too much on ourselves–we put ourselves in the golden frame. Lord, I pray that you give me the strength to focus on loving and caring for others–help me to be small.

    • Bill Rector permalink

      Thank-you Sister Pam, I find myself disliking some people and I know it is not doing what Christ wants me to, but now that I’ve heard your good advice I can now look at the people I dislike with an new outlook (and pray for them) Thank-you for shedding light on this subject for me I really needed to hear that. Take Care and God Bless you in this new year.

  2. Thank s Rev Mark for that reminder,ineed to always remind my self of the tongue that is in my mouth,its purpose is to praise God.

  3. Heather Stanton permalink

    I know that this passage didn’t specifically refer to gossip, although that is definitely something that drags us all down. I urge us all to remember that it’s not just our tongues we must curb, but our ears as well. Whether it’s gossip, cursing, or words that would hurt or tear each other down, we must not engage in saying such things or listening to them. Rather, we must in love put a stop to it. Easier said than done, sometimes, but we must try none the less. 🙂

  4. Steph Mitchell permalink

    Steve Grace used this in his latest blog post as well!!

  5. Evan. Mary E. Korden permalink

    Hi Rev. mark, WOW what a word for today! We must remember to guard our mouths and that we are commanded to love each other in spite of our differences. We can express ourselves with love and not harshness or anger. I’m going to keep this in mind as I go through the week and weeks to come. Thanks!

  6. Lydia Reyes permalink

    Before I came into this site, this morning I was confessing to my God the way I use my words to hurt someone yesturday. It was my husband. As I told you, yesturday that I was having some surgery and I was very uncomfortable. I just happen to yell at my husband for no real reason. We normally don’t speak to each other harshley and I deeply regret it and I truly ask God for forgiveness. There are time when we are vunerable and satan uses the moments to catch off guard. That is why I feel so blessed to grow in the word of God. I may fall but he lifts me up. Today the word spoke to me so clearly. I am so grateful that I serve an Awesome God. I ask you , my brothers and sisters to pray for me and I will also pray for you. May the Holy Spirit continue to light our Path. Thank You Mark for your wonderful input. God Bless.

  7. Terri permalink

    Your words really hit me this morning, thank you!

  8. John permalink

    WONDERFUL message Mark, I love that!!

  9. Davlyn permalink

    Father God, I ask again for Your help with my tongue. My words are to be positive and uplifting; full of encouragement and love. I thank you that You are always helping us to become more aware of the way You want us to live and speak. I give You all the praise and glory that only You deserve. Thank you for loving us so much. Holy Spirit, I ask for your help in guarding my words from becoming discouraging and negative. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

  10. My prayer each morning is for Jesus to set a guard on my tongue.Some days this does not work and I have a lot of appoligesing to do and that is also hard to do but with His grace I am getting better.
    Thanks Mark

  11. Carlene permalink

    This has really spoken to me. I have a friend that is always putting down people someway , I want to encourage her to look for the good and Praise God. Thank You Carlene

  12. Cassie permalink

    God has been dealing with me in the area of my mouth for many years. I come from a lone ling of “cussers”. Cursing runs in my blood. That has always been my excuse. Cursing is used as exclamation marks; but, nonetheless are useless. Realizing that the blood of Jesus courses through my veins; I now honor God over the will to defame or hurt my brothers and sisters. The first comment of the morning blessed my heart. From now on; I too, will look upon God’s people with a frame around them. I am to deal delicately with God’s most prized possessions and for me it required a total heart-change. My will to serve God overrides my desire to eloquently use my mouth to get ANY point across.

  13. Anita permalink

    I have a T-shirt that I wear because that really needs to be worn daily. it says “Lord keep one hand on my back and the other one over my mouth. When tempted by satan I am prone to wuggle that tongue in the wring way. Lord please always not only your hand over my mouth but also your fingers from allowing harsh utterances from escaping it.

  14. jonnie cromes permalink

    I guess all of us have times when we get tired of dealing with God’s people and treat them in a lesser way than He would want. “Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God (Isaiah 40:1). My wake-up call for the day! Thank you for starting our day off right, please pray we all stay on track. Thanks Rev Mark

  15. The distinction between praise and curse of the tongue easily blurs when the former is nothing but lip service of Christian cliches and jargon!

  16. Shavonda permalink

    Amen. My Mother always tells me about this. I can Either speak Blessings or Curses into my life and the lifes of others but all and all that person will be held accountable for their own tongue.

    Advice: Stay Positive and Never discourage someone because you never know if they may one day encourage you!

  17. Rene permalink

    I just want to thank Jesus for using you to help start off my day, to me this is like a bible study and the messages that you write are just so encourging and life changing! May Jesus through faith in his name bless you and give you everything back that you have put into this!!!! Thank you!!!!!! And may God bless and I will no longer have negative things come out my mouth I haven’t done it since the year started and I won’t do it at all!

  18. Bobbi permalink

    Thank you for that word. It just help me to be mindful of my tongue.Because there times I am saying things and don’t realize what I am saying until it comes out. So I am going to ask God to watch my tongue. Thank you so much for the word. It really helps me. And I am really trying to Seek God in 2010. Be blessed

  19. Alvert permalink

    James 3:9-12
    This is a verse which I really need to focus on this whole year. I must pray to God to grant me strength to have a control over my Tongue. For me to be able to use it only to Praise His Name and Worship Him. PLease pray with me.

  20. Michael permalink

    Thank you

  21. This hits close to home…One major thing I need to work on is controlling my tongue. I am so use to saying whatever I want its hard to stop at times.

  22. Christina permalink

    My biggest struggle: shutting up. I’m learning to now as I witness to people at college who have shut themselves off from the Christian faith due to judgemental attitudes within the church. Thank you for addressing this. It was a good reminder of something that I easily forget.

  23. Rebecca permalink

    Thank you this has been so good so far. Every one of them have been right on target with what God has bee dealing with me on. God bless you.

  24. My problem is the opposite to controlling my tongue. I sometimes heap too much praise and end up regretting it. I have this problem especially with women. I my profession I come across many women, and as is natural, every woman longs for a good word to lift their spirit in some way during maybe a stressful day at work or at home with an unappreciated spouse. I normally can spot it in their faces as they come through the door and almost always start our conversation with a compliment…”you have gorgeous eyes”…”Pretty..”…”lovely dress”…The sincerity shows but I have no other intention, but they almost always tend to take it the wrong way and I am left feeling like maybe i sinned in some way…feeling like maybe I lust unnoticed (if that is possible). What to do, cause its not in my personality to be a sour puss.

    • DrJhawk permalink

      Julius, if you are sincerely unaware of what you are doing, let me offer my observations. Number 1, do try to lift up your male co-workers with a good word? And is that good word directed at their physical attributes? If the answer is no, then what you are doing is flirting and that is a very subtle trick of satan. Do be misled. Number 2, there are many ways to use the Word of God to uplift someone. After all the Word of God is THE Good News and contains many uplifting, good words from our Heavenly Father. Simply reminding a brother or a sister in Christ that God loves them and that they are special to HIm should be enough to lift anyone’s spirit. Try using God’s Words to encourage and strengthen others. That’s one of the reasons He has given His word to us. Just my two cents my brother. God bless.

      • Lorna permalink

        to DrJhawk, well said bro, Julius i have a friend who also is very open with compliments to women and more often than not the woman thinks he is flirting with her, intuition i think! often he appears to be leading the woman on and i’ve seen some get very hurt when they realize he was only playing mr wonderful, and that he wasn’t interested at all, like it has seamed to her, this can cause lust and sinfulness in both the guy and the lady on the receiving end. and both end up having to repent, he has had to learn a very valuable and difficult lesson. so Julius please like DrJhawk said, don’t mislead. Speak with Wisdom and Truth over and to the women, Women are attracted to godly men, not flattery. so pray bro and ask God to show you how to use this gift of being kind to women for His Glory, im sure you’ll discover a new and godly approach. God Bless you bro. Shine bright for our Saviour!

    • JoyceLT permalink

      Dear Julius.

      When women are looking sad, or mad etc. it is usually because of something going on in their life. Making comments about our appearances do not help what is going on, but they do make us think that is all that is important to men… how we look. If you truly want to make a woman feel better, try a sincere, “how are you?” You might ask them about something specific such as how their sick child is feeling or how their studying is going or? So many women are tired of men who think of them as objects, and making remarks about appearances is insulting to an intelligent woman who is much more than a pair of pretty eyes or dress. I do not say this to be condemning, but hopefully to help you understand why some of us get so offended when comments are made about our looks.

  25. Alfreda C. jackson permalink

    Thanks Mark I need this today!!!! The power of the tongue. We speak life and death into our lives!!!!!!

  26. Sister Pam OP permalink

    After reading and studying Isaiah 1-6, I was struck with how alike my country, USA, is with the Jewish people of Isaiah’s time. We have accumulated wealth at the expense of others, people have turned money into an idol and we live in pride. May God have mercy on us.

  27. Connie permalink

    ” A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Proverbs 25:11 My favorite verse.

  28. Tamra G. permalink

    This is very interesting because this weekend i experienced something very similar to this topic. my church had a crusade and this pastor from new jersey came to minister to us and i tell you, he was magnificent. i took Monday off because i really wanted to hear the word Sunday night. after church, me and two my church sisters went out to wendys to grab a bite to eat. i got home around 2am. when i got home, i was told that one of the sister i went out with was not a good friend to be around. my point is why are the church or Christians in the church judging individuals. why aren’t we praying more. this young lady had a rough past but shes doing her best to come back. she’s on the choir and shes also on the dance team. why are Christians putting people down rather than encouraging them. nobody is perfect! i truly believe we need to encourage each other rather than judge each other.

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      You are right about that. Why do they do it? There are many reasons. They are sinners like you and me. They are insecure. It makes them feel better about themselves by putting others down. These are reasons, not excuses. The behavior is wrong, sinful and hurtful. Unfortunately, it is very common. That is why James writes about it in his letter.

  29. Donna Johnston permalink

    Mark,I love your teachings on FB.I am a new christian and there is alot i would like to learn and know.I dont usually watch tv and my husband was watching the history channel and they had stuff about Bible codes and stuff about Nastrodaumus,i believe what i read in the Bible and i listen to what my Pastor teaches,i dont believe the world is going to end in 2012 like the show said.I know that nobody not even the Angels know when Jesus will come back.I dont know how to exsplain what im trying to say but should i be in fear about 2012? If i accepted the Lord into my heart and life and i believe in Him will i be saved?How do Christians feel about what there saying about 2012? What do i do to not be afraid that i may not go to Heaven? I am constantly thinking about Jesus but i dont understand alot.Sometimes i feel like im thinking about Him to much that its like the only thing i ever think of.I love Jesus with all my heart but im scared.Im sorry i am so confused in writting this but iam confused.Please help.Thank-you,Donna Johnston

    • Greetings Donna,

      There is absolutely no evidence in the Bible that the world will end in 2012. And if you have accepted Jesus into your heart, and asked forgiveness for your sins, then sister you are going to heaven!!

      God bless you!

  30. Carl permalink

    Thanks Rev. Mark,

    Another Great Word for today,

  31. christine permalink

    I must confess this is a very challenging area of my life. I. Constantly find myself saying (& doing things) that God is not proud of according to His word. It mostly happens @ work. It
    makes me feel like I’m not really a Christian and makes it feel as though God is very far away.

    • Beth permalink

      Amen. We truely need to refresh ourselves daily with GOD no matter who we are or what we do. Even though this will take some time to accomplish we still need to strive forward with DEAR LORD GOD our HEAVENLY FATHER’s guiding light. We could never achieve this ourselves only by the help of DEAR LORD GOD and DEAR JESUS CHRIST our SAVIOR. Also as Christians we need to assit those who are lost spiritually that they may come back under the good LORD’S wing and to immerse themselves daily in the BIBLE as I hope to also do with the help of DEAR LORD GOD. Thank you Rev. Mark Brown for picking these powerful scripture readings and explaining them in a way we can understand. And most of all we thank YOU DEAR LORD GOD our HEAVENLY FATHER for letting us be able to read your good WORD so that we may take it and use it in our lives. In the name of DEAR JESUS CHRIST our SAVIOR whom we love, Amen.

  32. I need this passage today…I need it as a constant reminder also on a daily basis the minute I walk into my workplace…I try to hook myself up to my MP3 & sing and praise God, but sometimes the enemy uses my co-workers to get under my skin & here comes my tongue…used as a sword instead of an instrument of praise. Thanks for doing what you are doing…God Bless You!

  33. deeka permalink

    our tongue can be more lethal then a sword

  34. Karen Willis permalink

    Thanks for sharing about the tongue and the damage it can do. Over the years several opportunies for teachable moments have come my way. The first is froom a godly Campus Minster Ken May who encouraged us as college students to take care when we tease that those words not be used as a way to get a “dig” into someone. Another is in a musical that the Baptist Festival Singers presented by Bob Burroughs called Walk in Love. One of the songs was titled The Tongue….words something like this: the tongue, the tongue the trouble is my tongue it keeps me speaking double and it causes me trouble. Sadly enough over the last couple of years the tongue has caused several families an inconceivable amount of pain and has almost completely caused the spirit in a church to dry up. As Alfreda said it does speak life and death. Let us choose life. Thanks for your studies with the print of your words with the scripture there is an oasis in a desert.

  35. Winnie permalink

    Thanks for this scripture, Brother Mark. God knows I realllllllyyyyy need this today, yes, right now!

  36. Ugochukwu Ejugbo permalink

    Thanks alot, I was really changed and enriched by your reflections. Remain blessed.

  37. Tracey permalink

    Thank you Rev. Mark for this challenge. I look forward daily for a word from God. Thank for all of you who leave comments they encourage me.

  38. malvia permalink

    thanks for the daily scriptures today’s in Isaiah 1-6 opened my eyes to a lot of things it has been saying all along but i just did not see it until now. I keep reading it now and then but never really paid attention to what it said, somehow before reading it this time I asked God to show me what He is really saying to me He really did in every chapter there is something there for us all to take away. Hope you don’t mind me sharing what I got from it. In chapter 1:10-14 he spoke to me about our scarifice in our worship. He is calling for sincere faith and devotion from us. Scarifices give are just an outward sign of our inward faith to God. I

  39. Patsy Bond permalink

    Yes, the mighty tongue. Once I got my head and heart on the same track my tongue isn’t as violent as it once was. I have to watch it though, left unsupervised it can be mean and hateful. In the end I just hurt myself and am filled with regret.
    Todays reading brings hope to all. Jesus is on the way. God was so feed up with us, but yet he still gave us a way out. If we are faithful to him we can be sure of his mercy. Thank you Lord for your mercy. I love and praise you until the end of time. Amen.

  40. Your tongue is like a trimtab (explanation of trimtab here: ) in that a very small change made on a trimtab produces a much larger change in the vessel’s rudder, which can drastically alter the course of the vessel.

    Thank you, R Buckminster Fuller, inventor of the Geodesic Dome & many other things.Key word: dymaxion (DYnamic — MAXimum – tensION).

  41. malvia permalink

    If that inward faith is not there then our worship is emptyand God does not take pleasure in our outward expresspions if the inward faith is missing.
    In chap 2 speaks to me about our worship. This should not be one that insults God(by worshipping what is created than the creator), one that keeps us from knowing and serving God(by putting our confidence in anything other than God), should notcause us to rely on our own efforts than on God’s.
    Chap 3 shows hope-hope that God will someday reward us for our righteousness and the wicked will receive their punishment.
    Chap 4 our obedience which will set us apart from the world thus making us share in His glorious reign. This holiness comes when from a sincere dsire to obey and be devoted to God.
    Chap 5 shows me what God condemns in our lives. Exploiting others,drunkness,pride, confusing moral standards concietedness and perverted justice.
    Chap 6 our repentance and need for God. We have to realise how sinful we are and without repentance we wont know the extent of God’s forgiveness. Iknow this lengthy but do you agree with me anyone ? Is God talking to you too?

    • Vicki Mallen Lilley permalink

      As I was reading these passages, it struck me to consider the differences between the lifestyle of the unchurched vs.. those who know and love the Lord. The places where these behaviors and lifestyle differences are deluged upon us are obviously in the large cities where it exists in very large numbers. And that even today, this many years later, nothing has really changed!!!! I liked how yu brole it down by chapter, That really helped me out. Thank you for sharing!!

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      Thank you Malvia,

      Yes, God is speaking to me in this study. I learn so much from the comments that I know God is speaking to many in our group. I agree with your summary of Isaiah 2. This goes along well with 1/6 reading from James about humility, wisdom and goodness. Left to their own devices people will do the opposite of God’s will. Even though God’s will is best for us, we often choose the opposite. It was encouraging that you saw hope in Isaiah 3. I didn’t see this until you mentioned it. I was focusing on the despairing comparison with the people in USA. Re: chapter 4, we are indeed set apart. Following Jesus’ path is not the path most follow. In chapter 5 I see again how destructive the will of man is when God is not in his life. Isaiah 6:7 is a powerful and wonderful verse, “…and now your guilt is gone, and your sins are forgiven.” Guilt can be a self-devouring presence. It serves a purpose, but when we are forgiven by God, we ought to go forth with a clean start. Sometimes we have a hard time forgiving ourselves. In a way, this is arrogance of another kind, not trusting in God’s forgiveness. Thanks for helping me ponder these chapters more deeply.

  42. This message means a lot to me. Tomorrow I am going to court with my brother he accussed me of stealing his dog and had me put in jail and tomorrow I go for my arainment. This has hurt me very bad I did not steal my brother’s dog he abanded it. Inside my Grandfather’s house to keep my grandfather from going into the house. I called my brother told him he needed to come get his dog and he just cursed me out so I left. I have full faith that Jesus has this taken care of for me. God Bless All! Jesus is awesome!

  43. Thanks Rev. Mark, I really need to work on that, the tongue, it hard dealing with devilish people sometimes, Pray that I will speak more positively toward other people and try to live closer to God.

  44. Elizabeth permalink

    I just read this message, and recently have been hurting very badly. My husband has been involved in an emotional affair since our marriage in June, and just yesterday I found out he is back in contact with his ex-girlfriend and texting with sexual undertones. He doesn’t know that I know about this, but we have been having severe marital problems over the emotional affair issue and disagreements about how to raise and discipline my daughter, who is 12. Because of my hurting badly, I know that I have said and done things to also hurt him, I feel in an effort to see my hurt and make him see what he is doing is wrong, but at times also to inflict pain on him as well. I have recently come to realize this only makes things worse, and I have probably, because of my words pushed him back to his ex-girlfriend. Just before reading this, I prayed that God would guide my words and my actions, that in everything I say and do will be pleasing to Him. Reading this has shed great light on how I CAN watch my words, through God’s guidance and help, and that even though my husband is hurting me deeply, he is still a child of God. God loves him and I need to show him that I love him too, through my words and through my actions.
    I am going to Christian marriage counseling, though alone, as my husband has no desire to go at this time. I am fighting desperately for my marriage and the man I fell in love with. I am not willing to let Satan win this battle, and studies such as this, which I just found today, I believe are God’s way of guiding me. Thank you Lord for providing me with your words of love, wisdom and guidance. As you give me your unlimited supply of love, I can continue to love and uplift even those who have hurt me. In Jesus precious name, Amen!

  45. Jennifer permalink

    Pastor Mark – PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE – send me a inbox msg to talk to me about this topic – I have some questions n need to seek advise regarding this topic – please please please!!

  46. Terri permalink

    Thank you for your message today. I just recently started reading this blog, but it has already blessed me. I am dealing with some difficult family issues of an ailing parent and almost sibling rivalry and one being almost unreasonable. And we are all adults now!

    Thank you for sharing God’s Word to remind me that I need to deal with this situation in love not anger. Need to remember my sister is hurting too and feeling helpless. Please pray that I handle this situation to God’s satisfaction not mine, not my sisters. Please also pray that I can show God’s love and compassion even in the midst of feeling anger and frustration.

  47. Julie Gilmore permalink

    Awesome message! How true it is! The tongue is a double edged sword n can be so hurtful to others. Thank u for reminding me and being of encouragement in how to turn this around. I definately plan to share it w/my 2 daughters! God’s blessings to you!!

  48. Such a difficult thing to remember, particularly in the heat of the moment. Thanks for your encouraging words.

  49. Carolyn permalink

    It’s better to be quiet at times…

    It’s been said that praying people don’t talk much, talking people don’t pray much. How true.

    In situations where we are tempted to be angry it’s just better to talk to God rather than to people.

  50. I have been very blessed to have read the comments above and know that I am not alone in my struggles. At times the feeling of being alone in your struggles can be overwhelming.
    I just want to know one thing… how can you bathe someone in praise when they are constantly berrating you and calling you unspeakable names in front of your children.
    This is what I discovered about how this works for me. Remember the old adage “If you dont have anything nice to say, dont say anything at all.”? Well, that is just a starting point.
    I have talked to friends and my husband about this and realized that God does NOT wish that any of His children be treated this way. I also realized I can turn the other cheek for so long and then it is time to walk away. God tells us to run from situations that are going to make us sin, not walk away, but RUN. So, in light of this, I am running away from this horrible situation.
    Mind you this is no where near the whole story, it is very detailed and difficult to face… there is 33 years of abuse of various kinds involved here. The thing is, I JUST realized that I have the RIGHT to NOT answer the phone when he calls, the RIGHT to NOT go and visit, the RIGHT to say ENOUGH! I always was of the opinion that he needed me in his life to show him a piece of God. It took many years of hurt and the loving voice of my husband that said I was not helping him but he was hurting me. I had become more like him instead of helping him. This was painful to hear but I knew it was true. I realized I had become the worst version of me and it was about to cost me everything, including my marriage and family. I am fortunate that my husband loves me as much as he does. He refused to give up and talked to me about this. The HIM I am referring to in this passage in my father. He has hurt me more deeply than I can ever express in mere words. I know that we are supposed to honor our parents but I find this difficult to do in light of all my years of pain at the hand of this man. Mind you the abuse I speak of is not of physical nature, it is extremely emotional…
    So I guess what I am saying here is, even though family knows where to push our buttons, God does not wish that we are abused by them forever. I can help him more by prayer and staying away from situations that cause me to sin against God. I am divorcing myself from this situation so that I might draw closer to God and my family instead of letting my father come between me and God. Pray for me as I go through this difficult time in my life….
    “Be still and know that I am God.” This is what I am leaning on right now.

    God Bless you all!

  51. Sister Pam OP permalink

    Well, I sure blew it today. While I did hold my tongue, my thoughts ran into very shameful places when some people upset me. I am sorry for this sin.

  52. Mona permalink

    This was what I needed to hear today! It was just one thing after another today—or so it seemed to me! I had to tell myself what I have told my teenage daughter numerous times—-the world is not entitled to my opinion! And I love the idea of putting a gold frame around a difficult person–I will remember that! I do try to remember that a difficult person is God’s child and He loves them but sometimes it is still hard.

  53. THELMA MAY SEDDON permalink

    Thank You for this lesson today–We need to be reminded and so much more as the day is approaching of how we should live. Thanks Again

  54. Mel permalink

    I am so blessed with everyday ponder that Rev Mark shared his thoughts. For 2-consecutive days, I am always pointed by the readings everyday shared and today is not an excused as I was fighting with my boyfriend 3 days now. And my eyes had opened with regards to today’s reading. Thanks Rev. Mark. I am truly blessed with today’s blessings shared by you.

  55. Lydia Reyes permalink

    God bless you sister Pam Op. I love that you take the time to let us know that you also fall short at times. It’s also nice to know to come to God for forgiveness no matter how big or small our sins are. Look forward to all your comments . God Bless.

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      Dear Lydia,
      I fall short often. All I can do is repent and try to learn from my mistakes with God’s help and the help of groups like this.

  56. Debbie White permalink

    Thank you Brother for your post. I do fall short everyday, as the tongue can do more damage to a person, than a physical beating. The emtional bruises are much harder to heal.
    My prayer everyday is to be a Blessing in word & deed.
    God Bless

  57. tracey permalink

    it is so challenging. As christians we really need to watch what we say in order to build and not destroy. I think it is something we have to do everyday!

    Rev Mark, I was wondering about what we should do when we are angry. Should we like just keep quiet and pretend? that is also not truthful.

    • That is an excellent question!!! It really depends on what the anger is about, Jesus got angry at the money changers in the Temple, but also so much of James is about being kind and gentle and meek, in other words we need to find that place where we are gentle and meek, which is a little different to being angry. God bless, Mark

  58. Kayla permalink

    Wow, God’s timing is PERFECT! Less than 30 minutes ago, I was on the phone, talking to my friend about how I have to live by the Spirit, which includes building others up with my words (which I failed to do today) and was very down. However, after we prayed together, I felt hope, and this certainly strengthens it! Praise God that He works through us so that we may be light to the World! Thank you SO much, Rev. Mark, for allowing God to use you in a way to reach people all over the World! All praise be to Him!

  59. Have been having a fight with my kid for days. She still blames me for the past of something someone else she says did. I was not even around when this happened. I have not seen my grandbaby for a week and I miss her.
    I try to get my child to stop her ways but she doesnt listen to me just says I berate her. So I am done trying I guess. On top of all this having personal struggles and now my car battery or something has given out. It won’t start. I cannot take anymore of this but your sharing verse are correct, though I myself am guilty of wrong talk never the less it is the truth in the word. Please pray God can help me change. I cannot do this without him.

  60. Pastor Osita Arum permalink

    Its actually said that what we say to others affect us much more than the people we say them to.
    Check out when you praise someone,you in turn are even mur happy in praising that person.
    Also,consider wen u hurt sum1with abusive words,it seems like if there’s a recorder in you so that when u are finally alone,it starts playing all over again to you,whether you put it on yourself or not &if we can be truly sincere to ourselves,as @that point in time,we are not happy @all.
    I myself have a Big Mouth.I just recgnized that its what brings people close to me that much & because i flow alot,sometimes i dont even know when i’ve hurt some1 or not,I did one to a very very good female friend of mine on the 30th of DEC,2009 &found out that she was keeping malice with me for what i didnt recognize as @then.But when i found out,immediately we crossed-over into 2010,i went with that same mouth of mine to apologize & she welcomed me back with lots of joy.
    We can use our tongues rightly.
    God Bless.

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      What you say is so very true. We are being good to ourselves when we are good to others. I know that and still I sin. It just isn’t logical. So, I repent for offending God, my neighbor and myself with my thoughts, words and actions. I humbly ask to be pardoned. I ask God to cleanse me from this sin.

  61. Lorna permalink

    There is wisdom in silence. i have these 2 verses and my prayer written up on my bathroom wall to see and pray daily,

    Psalm 39:1, “I will guard my way’s,
    Lest I sin with my tongue,
    I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle.
    Psalm 141:3, Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth,
    Keep watch over the door of my lips.

    i pray = LORD GOD i pray you fill me with your Holy Spirit,
    Fill my heart so that out of the abundance of my heart,
    my mouth will only speak what is good and encouraging and pure,
    Pleasing to you my LORD and to others,
    LORD send me Your Holy Spirit to be the muzzle over my mouth for all
    that is hurtful.
    And may the goodness i speak be fortresses of blessings to all,
    In Jesus name. Amen

  62. cindy permalink

    thank you

    (Anonymous but unforgettable from childhood)

    “Even a fish wouldn’t get into trouble if it kept its mouth shut!”

  64. Rev Mark,
    I always love reading what u post praise God and U God Bless your family keep it coming thanks for bringing us encouragement. Thank You Greta

  65. Thanks for the sharing . i pray may the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be pleasing to you O Lord my God

  66. karla permalink

    I thank God I came across this website n the word for today. I may be dealing with a broken heart. I feel like I may have lost a person I loved because of my way of accusing him of things and the way I would blame him for things when I knew that I was dealing with the same issues and yes I hated that about myself so I would blame him and wouldn’t talk to him in a good way. Now I regret it because if Christ is my teacher then why didn’t I apply it to my life. I have realized many things, that God needs to be my number one and I need a balance in my life. I wonder if God could give me another chance to return to the man I love so I can show him that with Gods love, I can be someone good for him.

  67. doreen permalink

    please pray for me and my family. i am trying to keep up with the daily readings. but i can’t get pass isaih 1-6. i don’t understand it so that makes it hard for me to read. i don’t want to read just to be reading i want ot understand what i’m reading. do you have any suggestions on how i can better understand what i read?

    • By all means, get the KEY to Scriptures (Col. 2: 2-3). Invest your time and prayer in knowing firsthand Jesus Christ in personal VISION of his death on the cross (John 1: 47-51; 3: 1-21; 8: 21-28) or in his self-revelation through his deeply mysterious, exceedingly powerful and transfigurative death complete with life-transforming power of baptism in the Holy Spirit (Ibid, 14: 15-21; 16: 5-15; 19: 30-37).

      Only the vision of a Lamb, “appearing to have been killed but standing in the centre of the throne”, can give us the key for understanding more and more the secrets of the Kingdom of heaven in the Scriptures (Rev. 5). There is absolutely no other way. GBY!

  68. Connir Lovingood permalink

    8 says that we cannot control our “unruly evil, full of deadly passion” tongue. This is very true, but we can be aware of this fault and strive to think before we talk. James is warning us that if what we say does not portray our image of God, then it is sinful. What I mean is that we as people made in the image of God, need to show others who God is through what we say and do. James tells us that if we “curse” others, or talk badly about them, and on the other hand praise God we are contradicting our selves. We need to live the walk for Jesus as we praise God.
    I’m loving these studies! They give me something new to think about every day as I journey deeper into God’s world.. . becoming closer to Him.
    Thank You Lord, I found this glorious challenge to seek out who you really are. Amen

  69. Connie Lovingood permalink

    Vs. 8 says that we cannot control our “unruly evil, full of deadly passion” tongue. This is very true, but we can be aware of this fault and strive to think before we talk. James is warning us that if what we say does not portray our image of God, then it is sinful. What I mean is that we as people made in the image of God, need to show others who God is through what we say and do. James tells us that if we “curse” others, or talk badly about them, and on the other hand praise God we are contradicting our selves. We need to live the walk for Jesus as we praise God.
    I’m loving these studies! They give me something new to think about every day as I journey deeper into God’s world.. . becoming closer to Him.
    Thank You Lord, I found this glorious challenge to seek out who you really are. Amen Amen.

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