Listen to today’s devo!

Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. (James 1:26)

Expanded Passage: James 1:26-27

I am sure many of us have heard that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” This is not true. Words do hurt. What we say really affects us and others. God doesn’t want us to sing praises one day and curse others on the next. We are challenged to use our words to speak the truth, build one another up, and reflect the Father’s love.

When Jesus was on earth, his words were truthful and honest and demonstrated the love of God. Even on his way to the cross, he chose few words to answer his accusers. His example showed us that less is more, and words hold a lot of weight. Our words form our world and point us toward the deeper reality of what’s going on in our hearts.

Jesus used his words—and his presence—to demonstrate the importance of the people we spend our time with. He didn’t marginalize anyone. He accepted the widow, the needy, the poor, and the sinner. He met them where they were and extended a loving invitation to them. God also reminds us that life in the pattern of Christ—“religion that God our Father accepts” (James 1:27)—includes using our time, energy, and resources for the overlooked. Our words and our habits matter and make an impact on the way we treat others.

Ask God: Who am I missing that I need to pay attention to?

Sarah Linder is a lay minister for congregational care at College Wesleyan Church (IN) and a stay-at-home mom of three boys.

© 2024 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.