The Lips Need to Bear Spiritual Fruit

I heard about a professing Christian who got angry on the job and let loose with some oaths. Embarrassed, he turned to his partner and said, “I don’t know why I said that. It really isn’t in me.” His partner wisely replied, “It had to be in you or it couldn’t have … More

James issued a warning: a fountain cannot give forth two kinds of water, and a tree cannot bear two kinds of fruit. From this, two more pictures of controlled speech are given:
  1. That of the fountain and a tree (vv. 9-12). The fountain provides the water man needs to stay alive. Water is life-giving, and our words can give life. “The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life” (Prov. 10:11). However, if water is not controlled, it bring forth death and destruction. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21). A water fountain cannot give both pure water and polluted water at the same time. However, one of life’s hardest duties is to see that the tongue doesn’t contradict itself but speaks only the words we would wish God to hear. The kind of  heart that will speak evil of members of God’s family cannot purely (without pollution) give prayer or  praise to God. (Psalm 66:18) says, “If I have sin in my heart the Lord will not hear me.” The question is asked, “Can a fig tree bear olives or a grapevine bear figs” (v. 12)? The point is that a believer’s tongue should not be an instrument of inconsistency. The tongue is small but influential and must be controlled.
"Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Col. 4:6). How easy it is to sing the hymns during the church service, get into the family car and argue and fight all the way home. The problem, of course, is not the tongue; it is the heart. “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man” (Matt. 15:18).


Like the application yesterday, I need to ask the Lord to put a watch before my tongue and to keep the door of my lips? After the words are spoken I cannot take them back.

James 3:9-12 (English Standard Version)

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