Monday, November 21, 2022
Thanksgiving and Cursing?
Thanksgiving and Cursing?
by David Brenneman
"Do not become teachers in large numbers, my brothers, since you know that we who are teachers will incur a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to rein in the whole body as well. Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their whole body as well. Look at the ships too: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are nevertheless directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot determines. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things.
See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of unrighteousness; the tongue is set among our body’s parts as that which defiles the whole body and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one among mankind can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, these things should not be this way. Does a spring send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, bear olives, or a vine bear figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh." James 3:1-12 NASB
It's actually a reason for what I have been taught in regards to root cause analysis of problems. My tongue that is.
I see it in many others from Pastors on down as it were. People justifying verbal exchanges in regards to what's purported to be entertaining or sports. Does not the Bible, outside of what we just read in James speak to the point that every careless word will be asked about by Jesus? Matthew 12:36 NASB "But I tell you that for every careless word that people speak, they will give an account of it on the day of judgment."
Are not all who live and breathe the reason why Jesus came, lead a sinless life, was horribly mistreated, crucified and died on a cross? Wasn't it for everyone that He arose from the dead unto all who would believe?
Then indeed what we read in James and from Jesus Himself ought to cause conviction. It did in me a decade ago. I know myself enough to avoid some obvious things in life and situations where people are berated in the name of entertainment is one of them. I also have this as a chief reason to not watch television in general. I don't like situation comedy that berates or belittles people. If God is saying it's not acceptable then I shouldn't either.
We really need to look at what the Bible says about the tongue. What it says in Proverbs about how even a fool when silent is considered wise.
We ought not present to the world two versions of ourselves. The Bible seems very clear on the truth that as image bearers of God since Adam and Eve, we ought not to treat people this way. Jesus even had stern words for people calling people stupid.
Can we expect any form of leniency from Jesus just because we thought it was entertaining? Because we thought it was ok by our standards when it was clearly not ok by His?
We are taught to lift up one another in brotherly love in Christ Jesus. We are taught by Jesus on how to pray. We are taught in Romans to avoid intentional sin. When we deliberately choose to go against God's Word then we deliberately sin.
This Thanksgiving is often no different than the others before it in regards to the day after it with an aptly named day referred to as Black Friday. People regard it as entertaining and often the people involved try to one up others in the hopes of being recorded and going viral. Being the worst offenders on that day is a badge of honor to some. People laugh about what people go through on that day. But does God think it's funny?
Thanksgiving used to really be about being thankful for all that God has done in our lives over the last year. Just like Sundays used to be a day of rest but as the NFL is quick to say "Sunday's used to belong to the Church but now it belongs to us."
We are taught in the Bible to let our speech, conduct and love reflect Christ in us. Not sometimes. All the time.
If it means things that the world calls acceptable being earmarked as not, so be it. If it means being on the outside looking in, so be it. I will have to give an account of my life to Jesus.
So many Christians go to whatever lengths they can to get as close to the world as they can in the hopes that they don't get burned. Again the Bible addresses that. "Love not the world nor the things of the world".
We cannot have no attempts on our part to control our tongue. We need to bear fruits in respect to repentance. We need to show the fruits of the Spirit. We certainly do not when we use our tongues unwisely.
"But I tell you that for every careless word that people speak, they will give an account of it on the day of judgment."
How can we be a thankful people and also tear people apart?
Careless is to not care.
Being thankful more, complaining less, has been attributed to miraculous healing in people. So do you think that God's Word really was right all along?
We waste so much time on rage and anger. To that end the Bible says that the anger of man does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
We have no excuse.
So while the world is being as the world is, we are to be different. If we want a revival, if we want the Spirit to move mightily, we need to get our own house in order first.
The more that I focus on what God wants of me than on my circumstances that I can see, the more I see His hands in my life.
We need more true thankfulness and less negative verbal exchanges. If it means giving up something to make our walk with Jesus better is it really a loss?