wow. it's been a month since my last post: sad.
sorry for the long break, moving right along...
a world of unrighteousness
staining the whole body
setting on fire the entire course of life
set on fire by hell
not able to be tamed by man
a restless evil
full of deadly poison
james says that the tongue is an incredible weapon, and that no one hides from its power: "if anyone does not stumble in what he says he is a perfect man"
assuming that no man is perfect (and by assuming, i actually mean knowing) i can safely say that i am not alone in the frustration that comes when i look back and recognize the terrible effect that my tongue has had, not only on my own life, but on the life of those around me. even more on the lives of those closest to me. it's a constant battle between my flesh and my spirit, my own sinful desires "enticing" me to have the last word or to make my point clearly or to be understood. my desire to feel accepted and seen for what i want to portray. it's a deadly trap.
but is the tongue, so powerful to destroy, able also to bring life of sorts? can we not, with this same weapon, bring peace and harmony....whether by withholding words or by using them in love? and yet it seems a much more difficult thing to do. how much easier is it to say whatever comes to mind than to think carefully and wisely and intentionally lift others up? such conduct is a witness to sanctification. which leads to the rest of the chapter...
"who is wise and understanding among you? by his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom"
these are the words james chooses to define one with wisdom and the definitions i've personally assigned to them:
pure: not stained by SELF
peacable: desiring peace; creating harmony
gentle: aware of anothers' comfort; compassionate
open to reason: not bound to SELF
full of mercy and good fruits: having no room for bitterness; pouring out of selfLESSness
sincere: without a false projection of oneself
in other words, having wisdom means that we let ourselves go for the sake of the glory and holiness of God.