You may be familiar with the statement “A mature Christian is one who would not hesitate to sell his talking parrot to the town gossip”. Today’s reading is really an admonishment for all of us to be aware of what we say, how we say it and to whom. If we are aware of ourselves and are genuinely in love and charity with our neighbors and not just superficially it is easy to not gossip or to not disparage others. When we have strife in our lives, it isn’t so easy. But we need to remember that words are powerful.
As James points out with the same tongue we praise God and “curse those who are made in the likeness of God.” Words can praise God, make friendships, show love and caring and at the same time words are also powerful to end relationships, hurt others and even go so far as to curse God our Redeemer. Remember, God spoke the world into existence – he created all things by saying such things in Genesis as “God said let there be light, and there was light” God spoke and things happened, the world was created. We learn in the Gospel of John that Jesus is the Logos or Word of God – this is how He participated in creation – in some way he was those same words that God spoke and created all that is. By God giving us intellect and conversation, He has given us a powerful tool that can also create or destroy. Therefore we must be aware of what we say, how and to whom we say them.