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Read Introduction to James


“Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.”


Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing.

It is incongruous that both blessing and cursing should come from the same mouth. It is an absurd contradiction to bless God on one side of our mouths and curse men on the other side. 

My brethren,

James is clearly speaking to Christians by appealing to their place in the family of Christ; thus, the words “my brethren” convey unusual force. 

these things ought not to be so

The words “ought not” are very emphatic, indicating moral responsibility. There is no place for two-faced or hypocritical speech in the Christian life. This is intolerable in God’s economy of things. It is moral incongruity for both blessing and cursing to come out of the same mouth. This is utterly inconsistent with Christianity because when we curse men, we damn the God who made the man. 


One of God’s great values is consistency, so He dislikes inconsistency. 


There is a great incongruity in pronouncing two opposite standards of things. At one time, we blow sweet and saccharine thoughts, and the next time, we flame harsh and hurtful words. 

Aesop said that the tongue is at once the best and worst of things. 

Ps 62:4, “They only consult to cast him down from his high position;

They delight in lies;

They bless with their mouth,

But they curse inwardly.”

The more we walk with the Lord, the more people watch our talk. That is why “these things ought not so to be.” We cannot take it upon ourselves to censure others when we do not live up to the light that we have. 

The prerogative of censorship belongs to God alone because He alone is totally objective. We cannot trust the role of God in our personal judgments. We cannot portray the idea that we are better than others are.