Reading: James 3-5
Summary: The “practical gospel” continues by addressing the matters of the Christians speech, divine wisdom, worldliness, dangers of wealth, suffering, and prayer. This letter demonstrates that much of the New Testament’s contents are not only relating historical events or doctrinal content, but making practical application of Christianity to daily life.
The Surprising Path to Spiritual Excellence
The gulf is quite expansive that spans the difference between my talents and abilities and those of a professional athlete, musician, painter, etc. They are what they are because they possess and exercise exceptional gifts is certain fields.
We make a mistake when we try to apply that same truth in the spiritual realm. Those who excel spiritually aren’t those who are especially gifted to do so. Rather it is those who give attention and effort in areas within the grasp of each of us.
Take the tongue for instance. Our inability to completely and finally control our tongues is readily acknowledged. But one who works on it diligently and consistently has gone a very long way in controlling the whole body (Jas. 3:2). Earlier James said that making a claim to being religious while failing to bridle one’s tongue renders the entire venture worthless.
Every one of us has a tongue, every one of us speaks, every one of us employs words in our communication. Not every one of works on controlling their tongue. It’s not a matter of some special capacity with which one endowed, but the will and determination to do what would please God regarding this “small member”.
If one is interested in exceptional spirituality, the tongue is a very good place to begin.