Sweet and Sour

No, our subject is not Chinese Cuisine which is relished by many.  Today’s subject is Christians – sweet and sour Christians.  Thank God Christians generally display a sweet nature but without a close watch we can be a sour Christian.  What is it that turns a Christian from sweet to sour?

      In his one letter James blamed one small part of our body for our sour manner – the tongue.  Without the tongue we could not speak as we do for the tongue is used to form the words we speak.  It is what we speak that determines how we taste to others –    sweet or sour.

      We can speak good words or evil words – sweet words or sour words.  What causes our speech to be sweet or sour?  Jesus gave the answer in His rebuke of the Pharisees.  “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?  for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”  Matthew 12:34. What we speak comes from our heart not the tongue.  If we watch our heart the tongue will be controlled.

      James was appalled at the idea of Christians blessing God one moment and cursing the brethren the next moment.  That was not to  be as he wrote, “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing.  My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”  James 3:10.  A bit later James commanded Christians, “Speak not evil one of another, brethren.”  James 4:11. When we speak evil of a brethren we violate God’s law of love.

      Speaking wrongly, unkindly or untruthfully of the brethren is being a sour Christian.  Who likes sour?  Our speech to the brethren should be sweet.  It should be pleasing and uplifting.  Truthfully, our dealings with brethren should never be sour because, even if we have a problem, we must deal with them in a loving and kind manner – in a sweet way.   

      We are instructed by God’s Word to be sweet to Christians.  “Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification.  Romans 15:2. We won’t please our brethren by being SOUR.  “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.”  I Thessalonians 5:12. In speaking to brethren with the intent to build them up – to raise them up in spirit – we will be to them sweet Christians.

     The Psalmist said this of God’s Word.  “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.”  Psalm 119:103. Our words to our brethren ought to taste sweet to them.  It is our choice as to whether we are a sweet or sour Christian.  Being as we all enjoy sweet Christians may we earnestly seek to be one our self. 

      DEAR LORD, PLEASE HELP US TO BE SWEET CHRISTIANS THEREBY EDIFYING THE BRETHREN.