James 3: 9-12
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
In my search for peace, I have found a big connection between how I use my words and my state of rest. I have found that when I am reckless, easily angered and generally snappy, I am more likely to be uptight. When I think before I speak, control my anger by not allowing things to get to me, I am generally more at ease. Reading the verses above made me think about the tension that can exist within if we claim to praise and believe in God but do not treat people with love. We all know that the golden rule in life is to treat others with love and respect, to treat others the way we want to be treated. Therefore when we are rude, disrespectful, and a general nuisance, I believe that we respond by feeling stressed because our conscience informs us that we are not behaving right.
I almost see it as a battle between good and bad. Therefore when we are rude, bad wins and our ‘bad’ selves are not our best selves so we start feeling stressed and uptight. You see the amazing thing I have found is that the better I treat people and the nicer I am, the more at peace I am. There are no underlying issues or tension and my body is able to rest. My spirit, soul and body are aligned and therefore I am able to enjoy life. As a Christian I believe that we have the Holy Spirit in us – so that is the holy part of ourselves – it has been made new. Our soul is our humanness, the seat for our emotions, observations, experiences and way of seeing things – and can conflict with everything that the right and holy spirit self wants to do. Then the body is simply the casing.
I believe when I have not brought my soul to submission to God and therefore led by the Spirit – I get stressed. So when I am speaking rudely out of anger – I am letting my soul ‘win’ and my body will feel the consequence via stomach cramps brought on by the guilt I feel from mistreating somebody.
So…I am making a conscience effort to know the difference between words coming from my Spirit (Godly) vs my Soul (humanness/ ungodly).