View Full Version : Lofty Words / Hateful Words

Roger J Carlson
08-06-2006, 05:54 AM
The recent unpleasantness on this board has gotten me thinking...

People disagree on the inerrancy of Scripture, but few will disagree that the Bible is filled with wisdom about the human condition. James 3, starting with verse 10 is a good example:

[10] From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brethren, this ought not to be so.
[11] Does a spring pour forth from the same opening fresh water and brackish?
[12] Can a fig tree, my brethren, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.
[13] Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good life let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.

I take this to mean that when someone says lofty thing and hateful things, the lofty things are tainted by the hateful, i.e. brackish or (as KJV says) bitter. We've had some people on this board recently who have said both lofty and hateful things, sometimes in the same post. James goes on to explain where such talk originates:

[14] But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.
[15] This wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish.
[16] For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

And of course, we have seen the result: disorder, hatred, bitterness, in short, every vile practice.

Lastly, James tells us how we as Christians ought to behave.

[17] But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty or insincerity.
[18] And the harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

If we give into evil and lash out at others, it robs our words of the power of the truth. Of course, James didn't make this up. He was simply echoing Jesus' Sermon on the Mount where He said:

Matthew 7:
[15] "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
[16] You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?
[17] So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit.
[18] A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
[19] Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
[20] Thus you will know them by their fruits.

This is a scary thought. How many times have I said a hurtful or uncaring thing? I don't know. Lots, probably. It's terrible to think that I will be judged by others on those things MORE than my lofty words. Brrrrrr....

It behooves us all, I think, to remember this. How do you want to be known?

Note to reph: This could be considered a devotional. ;)

08-06-2006, 06:44 AM
How do you want to be known?

Most certainly not as the jerk that I've been acting like....again.


08-06-2006, 07:36 AM
Roger, thanks for the devotional :) . Beautiful words...and may God give us the grace to live them more consistently.

08-06-2006, 11:44 AM
Thank you for this.

08-06-2006, 04:19 PM
Thanks, Roger. I wish you hadn't had to go through such a mess -- but, that's why they pay you the big bucks, right? ;)


ETA -- I think we all need to pray for Brother Ralph

Robin Bayne
08-07-2006, 02:35 AM
I guess I missed all the unpleasantness.:Shrug: Glad you posted that, Roger.