“With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.”
With it we bless our God and Father,
We celebrate the Father with our tongue. The Father watches over all His creatures all of the time, saved or lost. The word “bless” means to speak well of. We speak well of God’s sovereign care over His creatures.
James is clearly referring to Christians here. We know that James speaks of Christians because he uses the first person “we.” Christians can express hypocrisy with their mouth at the same time they celebrate God.
and with it we curse men,
A “curse” is a wish of evil against a person. The word comes from two words: down, against, and to pray. The idea is to wish something bad would happen to someone. There are times when we want to call down a curse on someone. Sometimes people call God into this game. However, the bottom line is that when we call down a curse on someone, we sense that we ourselves are superior to them.
Ro 12:14, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.”
who have been made in the similitude of God
Even in the face of the fall, man retains the image of God. He carries nobility because of this. Notice that God negates more than just cursing other Christians but “men” in general because all people bear the stamp of God on their being.
Ge 1:26, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…’”
The fall of man sullied the image of God, but he still carries that image with him. That is why we cannot take vengeance on anyone. We value other men because we are men ourselves. We do not put ourselves on a pedestal by looking at others with contempt. God wants us to honor “all men.”
1 Pe 2:17, “Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.”
We show duality and contradiction in our speech when we worship God with our mouths and then express vengeance toward others.
We cannot celebrate the Creator and then, at the same time, curse the creature. This is a hypocritical inconsistency. This is not only a contradiction but also a violation of God’s design for creation.
Some Christians can express sweetness and light one moment with the people they like and convey deep bitterness with those they do not like the next. They can bless God in the spiritual realm and curse man in the social realm. They see no inconsistency in this. It is a double standard from God’s viewpoint. There is no call for this in God’s economy. If we bless, there is a consistency that we also bless others.
Mt 5:44, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…”
1 Pe 2:23, “…who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously…”
Vengeance belongs to the Lord, so we should not play God. We should leave criticism of all men in the hands of God.
Ro 12:19, “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.”
Sins of the tongue produce divine discipline. Sins of the tongue also is an indication of being out of fellowship with God. Conversely, control of the tongue is an indication of fellowship with God.
Ps 64:8 “So He will make them stumble over their own tongue;
All who see them shall flee away.”
Mt 7:1-2, “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”
We must make the distinction between speaking against sin and attacking the sinner. God does not expect us to condone standards that hurt people.