“If any man among you seem to be religious and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” James 1:26
Today’s Christian daily devotional
I scroll through the snapshots captured in my phone. Stopping at the pretty smile of my dear friend, Allison, my heart warms over as I reminisce about the colorful past we both share. From the age of 19 to just a few years ago, we were inseparable. From crazy road trips, to crazy boyfriends we have seen each other through it all– and have the pictures to hold each other accountable!
I laugh at the thought of it. But, my laugh is a hallow one. It echoes with the heavy pain of deep loss.
So, whatever happened to that red haired girl I thought I would share a friendship with forever? There never seemed to be a glitch we couldn’t work out with a good workout session or movie night together. This was all until Molly came into the picture.
Her arrival was innocent enough. Alison needed a regular babysitter and Molly, who lived down the hall from her apartment, had just been fired from her job. For Alison it was an answer to prayer. I was happy that she had found a solution that seemed to be stress-free and easy for once.
Over time, it wasn’t hard to notice the obvious tapering of Alison’s nightly phone calls. Those calls morphed into weekly catch-ups and then dwindled down from there. When we did finally speak, our conversations were cold and disconnected. It felt as if there were years of separation between us, not a few measly weeks.
I missed my Alli. Racking my brain for what worked well in the past, I decided that a simple sugar TLC was all that our solid friendship needed.
One day I stopped by Alison’s side of town to drop off some of her favorite gooey treats. Armed with a tray of freshly made graham cracker-crusted lemon bars, I tapped loudly on her door.
Not to my utter surprise, Molly answered the door. “Oh, Alison is not here right now. She’s out to see her parents in Oswego. I don’t think she’ll be back until after dinner.”
“Do you want to come inside?” Molly’s eyes kept flitting to the lemon bars weighing my arm down.
“Sure.” I stepped inside the home I had long ago helped Alison unpack her life in; but somehow it felt different. Brushing that bothersome thought out of my head, I placed the glass dish on the counter top.
“Do you want some coffee? Jacksons asleep, he just went down.” Molly lowered her tone as she ushered me into the living room.
“That sounds nice.” I was already counting on killing a couple of hours; I had no good excuse not to hang around for a spell.
As Molly brewed a fresh pot, she rattled on about some of Alison’s most personal issues. Knowing Alison since my teens, the private information she revealed was not a shock. The disturbing fact was hearing it all from an almost-stranger. The manor in witch Molly painted Alison was also rattling.
Trying my best not to be curt, I stuffed my mouth with a piece of lemon bar every time Molly left a breach in the conversation. At the expense of my waistline, I attempted to give the illusion that I was far too occupied to answer her. Swashing the hot cup of coffee down my throat, I stammered an excuse about avoiding a parking ticket to get out of that apartment as quickly as I could.
James 1:26 tells us that a person with a pure heart will think twice before they utter a word. A person who claims to love and serve Christ would not be reckless with one of the most harmful weapons out there—words.
Once they are spoken out loud or written on paper, they are out there—always attached to us in some way; branding the essence of who we really are and what we represent.
Jesus’ greatest commandment was to walk in love. If we catch our mouths doing just the opposite, we have simply become the most common and ugly creature out there— a hypocrite.
“Dear Heavenly Father,
Sometimes I forget that the words that I say can come back to haunt me. Many times I fail to even consider that they may come back and hurt you.
As I go out into the world, allow me to see how painful and hurtful gossip can be. I have been the subject of gossip and the shards that those words have left are still being pulled out of my heart today.
Help me to be the kind of person that builds other people up, not one that takes joy in the destruction of another.
I give my jealousy, envy, insecurity and my need for attention to you. I will not lower myself to speaking badly about another even if they ‘deserve’ it, because being cruel should never be justified.
In Jesus’ precious name, help me to become so secure of who I am in Christ that I don’t have to say a word. My actions and kindness will say it all. In Jesus’ name, for His honor, and to be a bit more like Him everyday, Amen.”
Thank you for reading today’s Christian daily devotional on verses: James 1:26
Please check back and see what we have for you tomorrow!
Author: Julia Shalom Jordan