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Dennis Lambus

on 28 June 2014

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Power of the Tongue

a. Can be used for blessing, honor, and encouragement.

b. Far too often,however, it is used for evil and destruction.

Sowing mistrust
Causing bitterness and resentment

We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

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.
James 3:2-10
Christian Ideal
3. Having speech in order is a crucial aspect of righteousness. Psalms 15:1-3a

4. Having speech in order is a vital aspect of our relationships in our family and community

James 3:5-6. It has the power to harm, cause resentment, and foster antipathy.
But at the same time, it has the power to build up, to increase faith, hope and love.

Some Key Problem Areas
How our Tongues affect other people?
1. Ephesians 4:29

No evil talk.
Speak only that which imparts grace, favor, help, and honor.
This is part of not grieving the Holy Spirit (v. 30).

2. Having speech in order is a vital aspect of love.

Love must be communicated. This is done not only through service, but also through speech. (Proverbs 12:18)
This is often neglected these days; we have become used to bad speech. Yet how we speak is crucial in people’s lives. (Proverbs 18:12a)

Christian Ideal
Dennis Lambus - SFC
It is defined as the utterance of false charges or misrepresentations which defame or damage another’s reputation.

In Scripture, the focus is less on the truth or the falsehood of the charge but more on the appropriateness of making the charge. Thus slander includes saying things that are true but which cause harm to others. It is making personal accusations and charges that one has no authority to make.
Slander is condemned in Scriptures
2 Corinthians 12:20

For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.

Romans 1:29-30

They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;
As Christians
Never speak in a way that causes brethren to mistrust one another.
Don’t speak in a way that stirs up quarreling or conflict.
Go directly to the person concerned. (Matthew 18:15-17.)
if necessary, talk to his head or leader who has responsibility for him
It is possible to talk to another mature person in order to get help in knowing how to handle the matter. In this case, do not name names.
Other than that — keep quiet!

When we reprove people (Luke 17:3).
When we have a dispute with someone that we cannot resolve and we lay the matter before leaders who have the authority to resolve the matter (1 Corinthians 6:5).
When we tell a person’s head that we know of or have heard of something wrong the person has done (Matthew 18:17). We should be willing to be identified.
When a head responsible for someone warns others against that person in order to protect them (1 Timothy 1:19-20).
When we give witness in some judicial proceeding (Leviticus 5:1).
We can speak against someone’s competence to the electorate if he/she is running for or holding public office.

Gossip is information shared without constructive purpose or in an inappropriate way (with wrong people or in the wrong time). Gossip is useless, silly and critical speech about other people, speech that subtracts form the respect and esteem one’s listeners have for them.
When we do talk about others:
It is OK to talk about others’ good qualities or successes.
It is OK to share about good things that have happened.
It is OK to pass on neutral information, i.e., “news”.
it is OK to talk about problems which do not at all reflect upon the person’s character or competence.
We should not normally share another’s problems or temptations. Prov 11:13.
We should not listen to gossip. Proverbs 17:4
Our brothers and sisters should know that we will treat what they share with us respectfully.
Treat all information with utmost Confidentiality
a. Many things we should not speak about when they are
told to us unless we have a clear responsibility to do so.
b. Leaders can talk about the life of a person they are caring
for with other leaders who also have responsibility for
the person
c. We should not promise anyone to keep something secret
before they tell us what it is. Nor should we promise
afterwards. We may have a responsibility to reveal it once we
know it.

When we listen to others
Taking on matters which are not our responsibility or concern. Actively prying into others’ affairs in order to offer unwanted advice.

How to Avoid becoming a Busybody:
Don’t let yourself be drawn into this by other’s complaining. Tell them to deal with it directly themselves.
Don’t pass on another’s criticism.
Don't evaluate something you were not involved in.
Don't reprove people for things you did not witness.
Don't inquire into the affairs of others unless you have responsibility for them.

Negative Humor
Negative humor is usually a poor attempt at expressing something positive. Often intended as a sign of affection or an indirect personal correction.

Sometimes the humor we engage in is based on something negative about another person.
a. Laughs are purchased at somebody’s expense.
b. “Slapping with a smile”.

It seems innocent to us, but it can be hurtful, even if only slightly. We can have the genuine thing (real affection) and not have to settle for this.E.g., honoring, not “roasting”.

Divine Purpose of the Tongue
Just as the tongue can be used as a weapon producing death , so it can also be used as a means of imparting life.

It can be an instrument of healing

A tool for giving thanks
Our Words should be few
Our Words should be true
Our Words should increase love and try and respect for the person spoken about
Our words should increase faith and hope
Our words should be self-controlled
Our Words should be humble
Our Words should be well-informed
Our words should be full of life
Our words should be led by the Holy Spirit
Our Words should glorify God.
“Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all,” everything, the whole lot of life, to the glory of God.” -
1 Corinthians 10:31

So, every moment of every day you and I will make decisions that either glorify or do not glorify God. This means that everything in our life is an opportunity to glorify God.
Our Call is to glorify God in all aspects including our SPEECH!
What are some ways you have been hurt by words?

In what way do you sin through your words

What concrete ways can you do to tame your tongue?
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