The Ungodly Tongue

“From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brethren, this ought not to be so…” James 3:10

During the Revolutionary War, General George Washington issued an order condemning the widespread use of profanity among the soldiers of the American army. He urged his officers, by example and influence, to address the problem, observing that such speech is an insult and impiety before heaven.

Today, many would scoff at such a concern. The use of profanity is ‘cool’, chic, and worldly. The expression, ‘Oh my God’, for example, has become as common as dirt. Many use the name of Jesus Christ in the same breath with words I will not use here.

The tongue is the mightiest weapon, even in a day of nuclear bombs and other weaponry of unimaginable power. With the ungodly tongue, dictators fan the embers of hate into flames of war. With the ungodly tongue, the sensitivities and intimacies of human sexuality are regularly cheapened; men and women use the power of speech against the very God who gave them that power, and one another.

This week, in your congregation, you will join with others in songs of praise and prayers of thanksgiving, the language, and speech of worship. One person called this our “Sunday speech”. We choose our words carefully so that our “Sunday speech” might honor the One in whose name we gather, who has given us life, by whose cross we have been redeemed, into whose name we have been baptized. And having tuned our tongues to the sound of praise and thanksgiving, it is our prayer that our “Sunday speech” will sound in all our words, seven days a week.

Published by Pastor Mark Anderson

Lutheran pastor, husband, dad, archaeology nut, serious blues guitarist and aspiring luthier.

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