“A Great Example of Love”
We all would agree the greatest example of love is when a person lays their life down for another. It is rare someone is called upon to actually die for another person, but there are opportunities everyone faces every day with a chance to express their love and respect. We have the privilege to give life to someone or make their life extremely difficult. As a matter of fact, we could even snuff out a person’s life, if not physically, in virtually every other way.
James the half-brother Jesus addresses this vice over and over again in his short Epistle called the Book of James. The book is only five chapters long and its theme is “Practical Faith.” A faith that is dynamic and affects the way we live every day. We live in a generation of “easy believism” and fascination with the mysterious and miraculous. James cuts through the chase. He tells us in so many words, “If you say you are a Christian, act like it!” James emphasizes conduct over creed and behavior over belief. In no uncertain terms he declares that being a Christian involves more than what one believes. It includes personal conduct. As you read this book, you find a strong message on the use of the tongue. It can be a blessing and bring hope, or spread evil like a cancer destroying one’s character.
James compares the destructive power of the tongue to that of a small fire growing and destroying property. It starts small, but increases in power and destruction. Proverbs says, “Evil is on the lips of an evil person like a burning fire” (16:27). Luke writes, “Every tree is known by its own fruit. In the same way, out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (6:43-45). The tongue is a great divulger or revealer of the human heart. I challenge you today, on the second day of our week long “fast”, to consider the things that come so quickly and easily out of your mouth. Are you an encourager or destroyer with your words? Many things, even though they are true would be best if not mentioned. Someone has said, before you speak ask these three things, “Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it helpful?” If the last two questions aren’t positive, you will illustrate a great example of love by keeping silent. (The exception to these things would be the necessity of sharing with authorities known truth to protect someone from danger).