Watering the Tulips
September 3, 2014
“If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless” – James 1:26
If this verse is true (and it is), social media is quite a condemnation of much of Christendom today. We, as believers, have ignored much that the Bible has to say about our tongues. Just a casual perusing of Facebook or Twitter will reveal rant after rant of believers against the government, the lost and even other believers. Those who are called to be “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14) seem to spend more time adding fuel to the fire than anything else. We need change.
The Word of God has much instruction for God’s children concerning how to talk. For instance, Proverbs 15:2 says, “The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness”. Nobody is suggesting that believers be silent. Certainly, we must share the truth! However, there is a proper way to do that. Notice, Solomon here says that one who is wise will speak knowledge in the proper way. It is possible to speak the truth with hate. We have all seen churches (using this term loosely) that have spewed forth hate in the media. How does such publicity affect the name of Christ?
Our text verse is quite convicting, really. If a person “thinks” they are religious but does not keep their mouth in check they are deceiving their own heart. Did we just read that – really? Does that mean all of the rants on social media that spout “truths” in a hateful, mean spirited, spiteful manner are done by people that are deceiving their own heart? This verse seems plain enough. But what does that mean? There are two possibilities, really. First, the person may not be saved. They may be bearing fruit that proves they are lost. This must be considered. The other possibility is that they are deceiving their heart into believing they are working for the Lord. Without a doubt, most of us need to get our priorities straight as believers. We are called for two reasons – to glorify God in all that we do and to serve others (this glorifies God, by the way).
Is our religion useless? I mean, have we so run our mouth that we have lost our witness? Have we been so hateful towards others that we have wrongly represented what the Gospel is all about? Have we given such a perception of Christianity that others have no desire to be a Christian? Just a few verses before our text verse, we read, “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20). Notice closely, our wrath is here linked to our speaking. If you are speaking the “truth” in a wrathful manner, it will not produce the righteousness of God. It will not.
Child of God, we have been sent by the Lord into the world to spread the Good News of Jesus dying in the place of sinners. Let us keep this Great Commission before our eyes constantly. But furthermore, let us keep it on our tongues always.
Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL. For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net . “Your App to the Gospel” can be downloaded at iTunes for iPhone, iPad and IPod Touch, Google Play for Android, the Windows Phone Marketplace, and the Windows Store for Windows 8/8.1 based tablets and computers. Please download it today!