Sunday, March 1, 2009

Part 3: Loving With Your Words

Before I really begin the blog on this sermon, let me start by saying, this was by far the most impacting and convicting sermon in the series. Our Pastor opened it by saying that he also felt the most convicted by this particular 'chapter' of the series, and so perhaps his own spirit is what communicated to us the most. But in discussions after service and throughout the day today, individuals were spoken to in a mighty way this morning... me included. It was amazing. I want to share that initially because I have a lot of emotion in these notes, and I don't want them to take anyone by surprise. Again, if you are a regular here, you know I tend to voice my thoughts openly, but keep my feelings kind of to myself. It's mostly a defense mechanism, if nothing else. So, for warning--defense mode: down.

Verse of the Week:
Indeed, we all make mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire. James 3:2-6

The same tongue that destroys each other, renews each other. We defile ourselves and make ourselves unclean by the things we say. We say things to hurt each other and we begin to feel regret. We regret the hurt we have caused each other, but we also regret that the unclean words we speak are proof of our defiance--of our inequities in the eyes of God. If we allow God to transform us, our speech -- our dialect -- will be the first thing to change. And so people will know we have been changed. That we have been transformed.

1. Love people with honest words.
How would our world be different if we were all honest in love? Would we encourage one another? Would we refine each other and accept those rebukes without defense? How often (in love) do we try to help each other, only to be shut down? In turn, how often do we deny these words for each other out of fear? If we spoke the word the way God intended us to, would we be able to contain the spirit? If we lived and spoke with God's love, how many would follow us because they want to have what we have??


Are you living a life that someone wants to follow? Am I speaking words with love, so loving, that others are hungry for what I have? That others know me by my love?

2. Love people with careful words.
In anger, do not sin (Eph 4:26) In other words, if you can't speak in love, don't speak at all. What a sobering thought. How often do I speak in emotion? How often is that emotion anger??
The other thing that is important here is gossip. If you're confused about what gossip is (whether you know you are or not), here is a simple rule: If you're talking to me about it, and I can't fix it, then it's gossip.

3. Love poeple with building words.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Eph 4:29)
Are you building up your brothers and sisters? Are you saying things that only help them and never hurt them?

My first thought when this sermon was over was about people who have hurt me. I went out with a group of women yesterday and I was hurt several times by their words. My thoughts started writing a script in my head of how I could approach them to tell them that I had been hurt. In those thoughts, I was immediately convicted. It doesn't matter what other people say to me. That has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on how I control my own tongue. Am I speaking in love? If I was speaking and living in love, would those women still try to break me down? Maybe. But would it hurt me so much? Because more than anything, that hurt is convicting. Because I know, none of them meant to hurt me. Have I hurt someone today in jest? Have I spoken words that build? Or words that destroy? Even the smallest word in our mouth can make a huge impact in the life of others. Am I conscious of this fact while I speak? Is every word from my mouth spent in love or in anger? Words are like bullets from a gun, they can never be unshot. The past can never be changed. Our words can never be unspoken. Are you putting every single word out there knowing that it can never be undone? You must know, with that kind of forever on the line, caution and prayer must be considered first.

So, today, are you speaking in love? Is every word you speak the kind of word you would like to have spoken forever?

"Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. Good people bring good things out of the good stored up in them, and evil people bring evil things out of the evil stored up in them. But I tell you that people will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." Matt 12:33-37

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