Did you ever see, read, or hear about the villain in Batman named Two-Face?  He was once Gotham City’s District Attorney and led the charge against corruption. Through a tragic event, however, he became the corrupt Two-Face.  He was schizophrenic to say the least and often acted as if he had two personalities.  There is a lot in common with Batman’s enemy Two-Face and our tongues.  Out of one human being, Two-Face could be almost kind at times and at others he was determined to kill.  Our tongue is the same way (James 3:9-12):


9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.


Do you see it?  Better question: have you experienced it?  “The tongue is the little hypocrite in our mouths that can make big hypocrites out of us.”[1]


One minute we’re blessing the Lord and the next, we’re cursing those “who have been made in God’s likeness.”  James doesn’t mince words, “this should not be.”  James, again being very practical, asks about the possibility of getting fresh water from a salty source.   Have you ever been on the ocean and actually made the mistake of drinking the water?  Trust me: don’t.  It’s not refreshing.  “Poisonous” is closer to the right word.  You simply don’t expect to get suitable drinking water from the ocean (without some desalinization efforts). 


Likewise, the tongue of blessing can quickly become the tongue of brutality.  I’ve done it; you’ve done it.  It doesn’t make it right; it just makes us understand each other’s struggle. 


As ambassadors of Jesus Christ, we must allow the Holy Spirit to purge our tongues from the bitterness that so quickly can roll off of it.  The words of Paul in Philippians 1:27 certainly challenge us today, “whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”  The world is watching and evaluating the life-changing power of Christ by our lives.  May we produce fruit worthy of the Master!

[1] Roger Ellsworth, Opening Up James (Leominster: Day One Publications, 2009), 112.