Category Archives: James

This guy does not mess around…

A Little Fire, a Great Forest

Ever since there have been people, there have been opinions. And ever since there has been more than one person, there have been diverse opinions. Diverse opinions often clash. Harsh language is as old as the Fall. Debates are nothing new. Believers have always been urged to guard our speech, and few (if any) of us have ever maintained a clean record in that regard. It is unbelievably easy to let careless words slip now and then. History is full of well-intentioned people who needed to learn when to put a sock in it. So really, this is a very old topic.

But now we have smartphones. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on July 29, 2013 in James


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Wisdom [in Speech] Will be Justified…

One of my roommates gets the news magazine, The Week. I was leafing through it just the other day and discovered a blurb that piqued my interested, listed as the “Health scare of the week”:

Girl talk is depressing

Teen girls often form strong friendships by venting to one another for hours about their social problems, boys, and other anxieties. These “girl talk” sessions are usually presumed to offer comfort and support. But a new study of girl talk has found that discussing problems over and over can actually make them worse. When she studied the venting sessions of 813 preteen and teenage girls, phsychologist Amanda Rose found that the hours-long conversations were reinforcing their feelings, not eliminating them. “The more they talk about it, the more anxious and depressed they feel,” Rose tells the Los Angeles Times. “Too much talk is too much of a good thing.” In fact, by obsessing over normal problems, teens can actually drive themselves into depression, eating disorders, and other self-destructive ways of coping with their anxiety.

So it looks like James knew what he was talking about… “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature, and is set on fire by hell” (Jas 3:6). We often couch this in kinder language — we’re processing or venting. While there is definitely a place for talking stuff through with one or two advisors when you are genuinely seeking help for dealing with a situation, this is not that. What this article is talking about, and what I wanted to point out, is that often we complain and backbite and whine when we’re faced with personal drama. It feels good at the time, which I can testify to from personal experience, but it only leaves us feeling more drained and stressed out when all is said and done.

Taming the tongue is not easy; James said that no one can do it (3:8). Whoever can successfully keep their tongue in check is said to be “perfect” (3:2). It can be painfully difficult to resist picking up the phone to call that one person who we know will pat us on the back and justify our lousy attitude. Thankfully, we have God the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, and by His help and grace, that pesky tongue can be brought into submission. And you know He will be faithful to give us plenty of opportunities to grow…


“Freedom” of Speech

So you don’t have to do a lot of web-surfing to find a lot of very… uh… “opinionated” sites out there. I’ve gone to a couple of links in the past because I found the topic intriguing, and was consequently barraged by some of the most blatantly slanderous writings I think I’ve ever read. I find it interesting that in our society, which places so much value on being polite and P.C., people will go online and say whatever angry, disrespectiful stuff may pop into their head.

I also find it interesting to see how the aforementioned people tend to react to complaints about the tone of their articles or blog posts. It’s all about freedom of speech. This is America, and so we get to say whatever we want. Nobody can stop us.  It’s my inalienable right to be able to shoot off my mouth as often as I like.

Constitutionally, I guess that’s technically true. But I’m being more and more struck by the fact that people who place such stock in freedom of speech …well, don’t really have it.

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Posted by on May 25, 2007 in Bible, James