Season 1, Episode 67
For Tuesday, April 14, 2015
“Principles of Peace: Be A Blessing”
Welcome to The New You, where we focus on maintaining and accentuating the new that Christ has created in you. I’m Robert Hatfield, and here is today’s scripture:
But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so (James 3:8-10).
This week we’re discussing some principles of peace for our communities. Why is it that the news headlines are filled with riots, protests, looting, and unrest? The solution to all of these issues lies in the Word of God. When we apply these biblical principles, then we will find peace in our communities and in our own lives individually.
Yesterday’s principle was that God created all people as equals. We are made in His image and we should respect each other for that reason if for no other.
** Today’s principle is this: be a blessing. ** That sounds a little cliché, doesn’t it? Don’t miss the important meaning behind those familiar words. You will be a blessing by blessing someone else.
Let me redirect your thoughts to the passage that I cited a minute ago from James 3. James says that we sometimes use our tongues to bless God, then we go and use those same tongues to curse other men. That word “curse” means to curse down. We are acting as though we are better than someone else. At least, we treat them like we think we’re better than they are. But James warns us: be careful about talking down to someone. They, too, have been made in the likeness of God! The phrase “have been made in the likeness of God” means that they were made and they continue to be in the likeness of God. Every human being shares that in common – regardless of race, gender, age, or any other distinction.
This kind of partiality is inconsistent with Christianity. Did you really just hear that? See, I think we hear it, but we don’t believe it. At least, we act like we don’t believe it. We’ll talk down to anyone who crosses us or who dares to insult our intelligence. Some people will quickly curse anyone who cuts us off in traffic or takes too long in the grocery line or does something to someone we love. But James’s words ring forth through the centuries: “My brethren, these things ought not to be so” (James 3:10). This type of behavior is simply unacceptable to God.
When you read James 3:11-12 you find two illustrations. Verse 11 speaks of a spring that cannot produce both fresh and bitter water from the same opening. It just doesn’t work like that, does it? Verse 12 says that a fig tree can’t bear olives and a grapevine can’t bear figs. It just doesn’t work like that. Here’s the point: a Christian can’t bless and curse from the same opening. That is, a Christian can’t be faithful and do so. It doesn’t work that way.
Let’s wrap it up: Be careful what you say about someone else. You may feel that you have a right to express your opinion or to let someone have it because of something they did or said to you. But you don’t have that right as a Christian. Sure, it’s a free country, but you’re not a free person. You are a slave to Christ (Rom. 6). You died with Him (Gal. 2:20). You and I better act like it.
If we will choose to be a blessing instead of using our mouths to talk down on other people, then we will begin to see peace in our communities.
Memory Verse: Paul, in this week’s verse, reminds us that others may not always be peaceable toward us, but we have an obligation to treat them with peace – even if they mistreat us. Here’s Romans 12:18.
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men (Rom. 12:18).
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Tomorrow, we need to look at what the Bible says about having respect for authority, particularly civil authorities like law enforcement, governmental powers, and the like. Join me then for The New You.