LÖHE ON JAMES 1:26

no-cussingIf anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. (Jam 1:26 NIV)

The apostle postulates that human life is a worship service that is to please God. It is to be conducted earnestly and in conscious faithfulness. You might consider someone, who continues in prayer and sings joyfully, is devoted to divine worship and strives to make every place into a divine sanctuary and every occasion into an hour of devotion. If however such a person has a loose tongue and can’t control his speech, then all other doings are tainted by this lack of discipline and the apostolic judgement fits right on: Such religion is worthless. Whoever practices it in this way deceives himself and others. Now how could it be different? A loose tongue doesn’t fit appropriate devotion and godly worship. It spoils everything. Therefore we should heed this apostolic admonition and if we want to adhere carefully to God’s word then we should also discipline ourselves and especially our tongue and all speech under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit. God’s thoughts and words are to purify and sanctify our thoughts and words. He even converts the  chatterer, windbag and even blatherer enabling him to master his tongue so that he is in control of his words and sayings to the glory of God and benefit of his fellow human beings. Consider this and beat your chest in contrite recognition of yourself and in joyful anticipation of what the good Lord can and will do for us and our salvation – even with regard to our tongue and speech.

Lord Jesus Christ! You are the light and the truth. Nobody can stand before you if he’s not out of your truth. Grant us an upright heart and a truthful mouth and appropriate speech. Prevent all deceit and lies and give that our thoughts, words and thoughts will be aligned to your truth. Keep our tongue from failing and grant that we will have speech and silence according to your will. Amen. (Churchbook of Würtenberg)

Take my voice and let me sing, Always, only for my King; Take my lips and let them be Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my love, my Lord, I pour At Thy feet its treasure store; Take myself, and I will be Ever, only, all for Thee. (Frances R. Havergal, 1836-79)

This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Tuesday following the fifth Sunday after Easter: Rogate. It is found on Pg. 196 in Lob sei Dir ewig, o Jesu!   (Eternal Praise to you o Jesus!) edited by A. Schuster and published in the Freimund Verlag, Neuendettelsau 1949.

About Wilhelm Weber

Pastor at the Old Latin School in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg
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