Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Our Words Matter

James 3:2-12 says that there are two types of words. Words the curse and words the bless. 
You could say it this way. Every word that comes out of your mouth is either destructive or constructive. Everything you say has the potential to tear someone down and completely rip them apart or build them up and encourage them. Proverbs 11:9,11 says “With their words, the godless destroy their friends, but knowledge will rescue the righteous… Upright citizens are good for a city and make it prosper, but the talk of the wicked tears it apart.” That means that you can change not only your life but the world by changing your words. Proverbs 18:21 puts it this way; “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” With that in mind let’s turn to Proverbs and see what it tells us about destructive words and constructive words.

Destructive Words
1. Lies

Do you know someone that just lies, all the time? Do you know someone that is going to speak truth no matter how harsh it may be? 

Proverbs 6:17-19 tells us of seven things that God hates… “haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.”  2 of the seven things God hates is lying!
Proverbs 12:22 - The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth.
Why does God hate lies? Because John 14:6 says that He IS the truth and John 8:44 says that Satan is the father of all lies. Whose side do you want to be on?
The ripple of today's lie is tomorrow’s wave and next year’s flood.

2. Gossip

The key to building relationships is to talk to people rather than about them. Gossip is talking about people. Communication is talking to people.

Proverb 16:28 - A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.
Proverbs 20:22 - Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart.
Proverbs 10:18 - Hiding hatred makes you a liar; slandering others makes you a fool.
People that talk about people are fools, but those who talk to people are wise. And if someone is gossiping to you, they are probably gossiping about you.
Here’s the truth about gossip. Hurt people hurt people. If you are cutting people or hurting people with your words it is probably because you have some hurt in your heart. You have been rescued and you are not a victim anymore. Victims never walk in victory. So stop hurting people, stop being the victim, and start walking in victory.

3. Impure Words (cussing, filthy words, dirty jokes, sexual conversations, name calling, bullying, boasting, sarcasm)

Proverbs 6:12 - What are worthless and wicked people like? They are constantly crooked in their speech.
Proverbs 10:31 - The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but the perverse tongue will be cut off.

So here’s what the Bible says to do…
Proverbs 4:24 - Put away all unwholesome talk; stay away from corrupt and decaying speech.

Matthew 5:11 Jesus says “It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.” This is scary, because what he seems to be saying is even more destructive than what we look at, even more destructive than what we listen to, even more destructive than the friends we hang out with and what we do with our time, is the destruction of the words we use. So that’s the warning, so we can be on defense. What’s the offense for us to put to practice? It’s constructive words! Remember what James said, not only can words destroy lives but they can also direct your life and destiny. 

Constructive Words

1. Good Words

Proverbs 10:11,20,21 - The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions… The words of the godly are like sterling silver; the heart of a fool is worthless. The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.
Proverbs 16:24 - Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

Good words: Life-giving, like fine silver, encouraging, sweet and healthy. Does that describe the words that you used today. Speaking to your friends, to your parents, to your brother and sisters, and I would say even the words that you thought. Wise words are good, valuable, build others up, and bring health and healing to others.

2. Timely Words
Again, even if its truthful, your words should be spoken at the right time! 

It’s all about timing. The timing of your words can bring death or life. Don’t tell your dad that you broke something of his right after he has gotten home from a tough day at work. Don’t tell your boss you’re leaving on vacation a day before you go. Don’t tell your friend that you want to talk to them about their gossip problem in front of a group of people.  Timing. The two most important things about what we say is timing and tone. 

Proverbs 15:23 - Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!
Part of timing means to think before you speak. Take time to think about what you are saying and when you should say it!

Proverbs 15:28 - The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.
It’s so simple to just say what comes to mind whenever you think and you may not give it a second thought but What’s so minor to you, is major to others.

3. Controlled Words

Proverbs 15:1 - A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.
Proverbs 13:3 - Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything.
Proverbs 17:27-28 - A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.

The Challenge
Remember we’re all not okay and It’s okay to not be okay, but we can’t stay that way.
So here’s our challenge…
  • Think before you speak (pray)
  • Listen before you answer (control your words)
  • Learn from the master (read God’s word)
  • Put away destructive words, and practice constructive words

1 - Think about the last week. Would you say you used more destructive or constructive words?
2 - What type of speech naturally comes out of you when you get mad or frustrated? Why do you think that is?
3 - What can you do to “put away and stay away” from lies, gossip, and unwholesome words?

4 - What can you do to encourage good words, timely words, and controlled words?

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