This week's reading from James gives some pretty standard advice - watch your mouth! It resonated with people in the 1st century and it still resonates with us in the 21st.
As we see the rise of Donald Trump in the Republican primary race, he brings with him a brash, no-nonsense kind of talk. He's not afraid to step on people's toes. Quite frankly, this is what is making him attractive to many Republican voters at this point. He is a political outsider that is willing to tell it like it is (or at least tell it from his outsider's prospective).
|James says that we've tamed all manner|
of ferocious beasts except for the tongue.
If Trump continues to lead in the primaries, his Christian brothers and sisters must press upon him the importance of this lesson. If Americans begin to emulate his style in their interactions with one another, my fear is that the polarization of our country will get worse before it gets better.
I see this lesson so clearly in Trump because we are alike in a lot of ways. There have been times in my life when I have verbally abused other people. Some of it was done in jest and other times I was actually seeking to injure with my words. Even though I may have come out on top in the individual encounter, I never won because when I resorted to this kind of behavior, I became the "loser."
As I continue to grow in Christ, I find that I no longer have any enemies. I only have people that see things differently. How I communicate with these people makes all the difference as to the reign of the prince of peace in the world - or at least our corner of it.
Photo taken by the author in Kruger National Park, South Africa, August, 2011.