9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.James 3: 9-12
We praise God on Sunday with the songs and readings of scripture. But the rest of the week may not show the same kindness toward others. Man is made in the likeness of God and when we insult or denigrate a fellow human, we are insulting the Creator. Man is flawed for sure, but he is still possesses the likeness of God. When we treat others in this manner, we are not acting in the way a Christian should act toward others. We are told to love others as ourselves.
James refers in verse 10 that it is unnatural to have praise and cursing both come out of the same mouth. His analogy of fresh water and salt water flowing from the same spring and a fig tree bearing olives, demonstrates how unnatural these would be. It is the same with praise and cursing. If we are a Christian, this would not be the way we would be expected to treat others.
This is consistent with the message James is conveying to the new Christians. He is schooling them in the way they should behave as a follower of Jesus Christ.
Tomorrow we’ll finish chapter 3 and discuss two kinds of wisdom.