James 3:10-12 From the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.
Does a fountain send out from the same opening both sweet and bitter water?
Can a fig tree, my brethren produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Neither can salt water produce sweet.
Here James is speaking to his "brethren" which is the church. It is evident that individuals within the church were having difficulty with this issue of using their mouths to both bless and curse, to give out both bitter and sweet water. And James states clearly that such things should not be. And yet they were.
This would lead me to believe that if it could happen with the first century church, it most certainly could happen with the twenty-first century church. And not only could it happen in theory, I think many of us have seen it with our own eyes, and may have even felt the sting of it in our own lives.
But the worst part about it is that many individuals are completely unaware of the cursing and bitter waters that come out of their mouths onto believers and unbelievers alike. They are unaware that they have a bitter root within their hearts that their words, like water, pass over, and so are defiled.
That is why bitterness is called a root in Hebrews. It's because it is not always seen. But it will eventually produce fruit.
So what kinds of bitterness or cursings have been poured on you by Christian friends and family?
Did those bitter things produce a bitterness within your own heart? Were you able to overcome in some way? Or are you still struggling?
You don't have to answer me, unless you want to. But it might not hurt to answer your own heart and make it a prayer concern.
Bitterness comes. It can't always be avoided. And sometimes it slips in. But being aware of it's existence is the first step in getting past it.
Alois Haba: String Quartet No. 3
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