“For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a mature man, able to bridle the whole body as well…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 can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.” -James 3:2, 7-11
This passage of Scripture struck me as I was reading today. How often do I have something bad to say about other people when their lives interfere with my own? What will be my reaction to the driver who cuts me off on the way home from church tomorrow?
The challenge here in James is that it describes others as being “made in the likeness of God”. Note also that the audience of our words is never spoken here in James — the core issue is our own heart, not with who hears us. May we remember that about the next person who bothers or annoys us: let us remember that they are in God’s image, and may we also remember to keep our mouths shut.
Even when I am alone in my car!