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Archive for the ‘Tongue’ Category

gossip

What’s the problem for you? Is it gossip?  You just can’t resist passing on a juicy story?  The fact that it is true doesn’t stop it from being gossip.

Or maybe your problem is anger.  Do you pop off at people who make you angry, letting harsh and hurtful words fly like weapons? Are they directed at your children?  Your spouse?  Your employees?

Or are you a liar? Is it hard for you to resist making yourself look better, embellishing you to make you seem smarter, richer, better, more spiritual? Words are powerful.

Proverbs 10:19 warns us, In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise.

The following are some of the ways the Bible addresses speaking evil:

  • Psalm 34:13 Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit.
  • Psalm 15:1-3 LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, And speaks the truth in his heart; He who does not backbite with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend.
  • Psalm 50:20 You sit and speak against your brother; You slander your own mother’s son.
  • Proverbs 11:13 A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.
  • Proverbs 20:19 He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; Therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips.

This week consider your words. Where is your sin? Of what man or woman are you speaking evil? Identification is the key to changing the behavior. Remember, you have the ability.  With Christ, all things are possible.

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speak evil of no manSheeesh.  Sometimes the Bible can be so . . . comprehensive.  No man? Really? How am I supposed to do that?

When the Bible gives a command, we can immediately know 2 things:

  • It is possible for us to obey
  • It is important for us to obey

It is possible for us to obey because of other promises that God has made in His Word to us.

  •   I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13.
  •  No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

It is important for us to obey because of what obedience means in God’s economy.

  •  Then Samuel said: “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.  1 Samuel 15:22
  • If you love Me, keep My commandments.  John 14:15 (Jesus speaking)
  • He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.  John 14:21 (Jesus speaking)

Therefore, this command to speak evil of no man (or woman) is possible to obey and important for me to obey. Our next post will explore what it means to speak evil of someone and why it is banned among God’s people.

Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.  Psalm 141:13

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As we discussed in the last post, there is much to be learned in the Bible about the tongue, the lips, words, how we speak and related topics.  Last time, we looked at Proverbs 12,  and in Proverbs 15, we find more wisdom on this subject:

  • Gentle words can help diminish another’s anger  – “A soft answer turns away wrath, but  a harsh word stirs up anger.”  verse 1
  • Wise people use their speech to convey knowledge, but fools speak nonsense – “The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.”  verse 2   See also verse 7.
  • A those who speak health and benefit bring life, but those who speak perversion sap energy and enthusiasm – “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.”  verse 4

The words that we speak and the way that we speak them can bring life or they can cause death and despair.  Shall we speak life or death.  It is a choice.  If we model our speech after our great God, we will speak life.  Consider the following examples:

  • Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.  Gen. 1:3
  • Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so.  Gen. 1:9
  • Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so.  Gen. 1:11
  • Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so.   Gen. 1:14-15.
  • Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so.  Gen. 1:24
  • Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!”  And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. John 11:43-44
  • Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other.  Matt. 12:13
  • He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”   And he arose and departed to his house.  Matt. 9:6-7

Beloved, may we speak as our master spoke, and bring life to our listeners.   May God teach us the power of the well-disciplined tongue, fully yielded and bringing forth only pure, sweet water and with that water, life!

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Having just finished a great study in the book of James, the blessings and problems of the tongue are fresh in my mind.  In addition to the verses in James 3 regarding the tongue, many other books of the Bible have something to say on this subject:

In Proverbs 12, I found some interesting wisdom about the tongue:

  • Your mouth will get you into trouble – “The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous will come through trouble.”  verse 13
  • What you say can bring a blessing back to you – – “A man will be satisfied with the good by the  fruit of his mouth.”  verse 14
  • He who speaks truth declares righteousness, but a false witness, deceit. verse 17
  • Some people’s words stab and others bring healing – “There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health.”  verse 18
  • Truth lasts (lies fade) – “The truthful lip shall be established forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.”  verse19.
  • God hates liars, but delights in the truthful – “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.”  verse 22

May you bless others with your words.  May God bless you through His word.

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