The Same Mouth….
Do we praise God with the same mouth we use to tear down others?
With it [the tongue] we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. This need not be so, my brothers. Does a spring gush forth from the same opening both pure and brackish water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, produce olives, or a grapevine figs? Neither can salt water yield fresh. -James 3:9-12, NAB
After saying foul words, have you ever heard someone ask, “Do you kiss your mother with those lips?” It is that same challenge being presented here, but instead of a mother’s kiss, St. James refers to our praise for God.
Can we leave the confessional and return right back to criticizing others for their mistakes? Can we leave Mass Sunday morning just to say hurtful things to our spouses? Can we spend time in prayer and return to gossiping about others?
God loves it when we praise Him – not out of vanity, but because it shows our hearts belong to Christ. So when we use that same mouth to tear down others, it puts our heart into question. When our hearts truly belong to Christ, it would be evident in both our praise of God and words about our neighbor.
We sometimes forget that it is the same mouth that praises God and speaks poorly of others. We cannot praise God in one moment and tear down His children in another. May our song of praise for God echo in the way we speak to our family, our friends, and our neighbors.