Monday, September 17, 2007
Our Mouth, Part I
Yesterday, at church, our pastor spoke on how important our words are.
Proverbs 18:21 "Death and life are in the power of the TONGUE, And those who love it will eat its fruit."
Does this mean that we can speak magical incantations that somehow, miraculously cause someone to die or raise someone from the dead? Are we suppose to look over our shoulders every time we say something negative as though some bad luck would happen? Maybe we should follow it with "knock on wood" or throw salt over our shoulder or something. Let me say right in the beginning that I don't believe in good luck/bad luck, superstition or positive speaking. But I do believe in speaking positively and the importance of our words. God is in the balance and there is a balance here.
As a Christian, I am a child of God, a citizen of Heaven, a royal daughter, a holy priestess, an honored woman, a favored child, an inheritor of my Father. I've been adopted into the family of God. With this comes blessed freedom from the rule of sin. I don't have to sin or be held captive by an habitual sin. This doesn't mean that I'm sinless because I still struggle with my human nature and will until I die. But Jesus paid the price for me and I'm restored as a child of God. And the Holy Spirit has been implanted into my heart to teach me the ways of God, to tutor me to become a Princess. The Holy Spirit teaches by using the Word of God. It's my manual on how to be all the God wants me to be.
So one of the things God talks about in the Bible is the correct use our tongue. I have a heavenly language (see my posting on Speaking In Tongues in an earlier post) but I need to learn how to speak gracefully and powerfully in this world since I am an Ambassador of Christ while I'm alive and in this world.
If I was an Ambassador for the United States in Italy, I would need to be able to speak English and Italian. I would need to learn how to speak in a way that does not make promises that are not backed by the United States. I would need to learn how to speak tactfully and not offend the Italians. I would need to learn how to speak forcefully when I'm directed to by the President of the U.S. I would need to learn how to couch my words carefully so that there is no misunderstanding. I would need to learn how to speak in such a way as not bring embarrassment to the United States. You can see what I mean! It's the same for Christians. We need to be taught how to speak in a way that properly represents God to the unsaved, that does not lead new Christians into confusion, that does not offend, etc.
Having said this, and compared it in a secular way, I don't mean to say that there is nothing spiritual or miraculous about our words. That is the mysterious part about it, things too deep for us to understand. But something does occur. You cannot claim this miraculous blessing if you aren't saved. So positive thinking, positive speaking, does not bring the blessings and miracles of God to the unsaved. If you aren't saved you cannot repeat a hundred times, "I will have a million dollars by the time I'm 30" and have a million dollars by the time you are 30. If you are a millionaire by the time you are 30 it's because it would have happened anyway not because you spoke positively. Satan particularly likes to confuse people into believing junk like this rather than believing in God.
What does God have to say about our words, our conversation, our speech? In the scripture in Proverbs 18:21, it says that there is life and death in the tongue. Our words can hurt people's feelings in such a way that they are completely demoralised, dejected, despairing and could even cause someone to commit suicide. If we make fun of people, call them names, gossip about them, pass along ugly stories (true or fabricated), tell them how stupid they are, etc. then we are causing untold damage that could even result in death. How many times have we heard about the children who have committed mass murder at their schools because of being rejected, called names, made fun of and bullied? How many times have we read of someone who was verbally abused by their parents, having grown up into abusers themselves maybe even to the point of physically or sexually abusing their child...even killing them? How many people have you met that have been somehow verbally abused during their lives and grown up to be so beaten down, with such low self esteem that they can't rise above it and are very self destructive?
On the other hand, our words can bring life. We can speak encouraging words to our children and watch them blossom with self confidence. We can reach out in friendliness to someone who is being hurt at school and see their life turn around. Instead of verbally beating up a child and it leads to mass murder at their school, what if someone had encouraged the child, spoke kind words to them, reached out in friendliness, spoke in defense of them...maybe the child would have never killed others, never killed themself, but would become a productive member of society! What if we told others about Christ and His love and forgiveness instead of brow beating them with shame and guilt? Our words can make a difference in other's lives. The greatest good or the greatest harm is in the power of the tongue.
"Don't Blame Me"
People don't want to take the blame for their words. They have runny mouth and can't control what they say so they make the excuse, they "tell it like it is" or "I tell you what I think" as though it were a badge of honor to speak so plainly and brutally. Really it's a matter of control. Do you have any self discipline or control over yourself?
James 3: 2-12
For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.
The Bible speaks plainly about how important truth is, but it also speaks plainly about an ugly mouth and a tactless tongue that brings hurt, pain, despair. It is up to us to control ourselves and our tongue. I'm the first to say that I've NOT arrived in this discipline. But the Holy Spirit is teaching me and the Word is teaching me and the miracle of God is slowly engraving it on my heart. Hopefully I will become better and better at it. We do have a responsibility to control our tongues.
Matthew 15: 17-20
"Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things which proceed out of the mouth [speech] come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man."
The King James Version says, "out of the heart a man speaks". If you don't want people to know how ugly your heart is, then you might want to keep your mouth shut. Your words reveal the true state of your heart, your mind, your soul. If it's ugly things pouring out, you might have a heart problem. Are you bullying someone with your mouth? It might not be their faults that are being observed, but your own! Are you calling someone else ugly when it's really your ugly behavior that is being shown? Your words reveal the state of your own self. They reflect on you.
Psalm 39: 1 I said, "I will guard my ways, Lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle,"
Psalm 141: 3
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.
Proverbs 16: 23
The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, And adds learning to his lips.
Proverbs 21: 23
Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles.
Ecclesiastes 5: 2-3
Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes through much activity, And a fool's voice is known by his many words.
What is ugly speech?
Manipulating people with persuasive words to get your way - to control others; to manage deviously for your own gain; to take advantage of someone by artful and devious means; to"handle" someone without their realizing it; to "sale" to the other person with your own personal gain in mind
Matthew 27: 20
But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus.
Acts 14: 19
Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.
Galatians 5: 7-8
You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.
Colossians 2: 4
Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words.
Gossip - Rumor or talk of a personal, sensational, or intimate nature; to engage in or communicate idle; indiscreet talk
1 Timothey 5: 13
And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.
Proverbs 18: 8
The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost body.
Slander - False statements injurious to a person's reputation; false and malicious report about someone; backbiting
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;
You sit and speak against your brother; You slander your own mother's son.
Psalm 101: 5
Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, Him I will destroy; The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart, Him I will not endure.
Psalm 139: 22
Let not a slanderer be established in the earth; Let evil hunt the violent man to overthrow him."
Proverbs 10: 18-19
Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, And whoever spreads slander is a fool. In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise.
Proverbs 11: 9
The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor, But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered
Proverbs 25: 23
The north wind brings forth rain, And a backbiting tongue an angry countenance.
II Timothy 3: 1-5
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
Lying - Dishonest; untrue statements; deceitful; misleading by falsehood or by concealment of the truth; mendacious describes a chronic inclination toward untruth; not telling the truth; lack of honesty and integrity
Psalm 34: 12-14
Who is the man who desires life, And loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.
Psalm 50: 19
You give your mouth to evil, And your tongue frames deceit.
Psalm 52: 2-4
Your tongue devises destruction, Like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. You love evil more than good, Lying rather than speaking righteousness. Selah. You love all devouring words, You deceitful tongue.
Psalm 78: 36-39
Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouth, And they lied to Him with their tongue; For their heart was not steadfast with Him, Nor were they faithful in His covenant. But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, And did not destroy them. Yes, many a time He turned His anger away, And did not stir up all His wrath; For He remembered that they were but flesh, A breath that passes away and does not come again.
Psalm 109: 2-3a
For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful Have opened against me; They have spoken against me with a lying tongue. They have also surrounded me with words of hatred,
Psalm 120 : 1-3
In my distress I cried to the Lord, And He heard me. Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips And from a deceitful tongue. What shall be given to you, Or what shall be done to you, You false tongue?
Proverbs 6: 16-19
These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.
Proverbs 12: 17-20
He who speaks truth declares righteousness, But a false witness, deceit. There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health. The truthful lip shall be established forever, But a lying tongue is but for a moment. Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, But counselors of peace have joy.
Proverbs 20: 17
Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.
Proverbs 21: 6
Getting treasures by a lying tongue Is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death.
Romans 3: 13
"Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit"; "The poison of asps is under their lips";
1 Peter 3: 10
For "He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit.
Flattery - Excessive or insincere praise; meaningless praise
Psalm 5: 9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; Their inward part is destruction; Their throat is an open tomb; They flatter with their tongue.
Psalm 12: 2-4
They speak idly everyone with his neighbor; With flattering lips and a double heart they speak. May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, And the tongue that speaks proud things,Who have said, "With our tongue we will prevail; Our lips are our own; Who is lord over us?"
Psalm 78: 36-37
Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouth, And they lied to Him with their tongue; For their heart was not steadfast with Him, Nor were they faithful in His covenant.
Proverbs 23: 23b-24Reproofs of instruction are the way of life, To keep you from the evil woman, From the flattering tongue of a seductress.
Proverbs 28: 23
He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward Than he who flatters with the tongue.
Proverbs 26: 28
A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it, And a flattering mouth works ruin.
Proverbs 28: 23
He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward Than he who flatters with the tongue.
Psalm 62: 4
They only consult to cast him down from his high position; They delight in lies; They bless with their mouth, But they curse inwardly. Selah********************************************
Boasting - To glorify oneself in speech; talk in a self-admiring way; to speak of with excessive pride; the act or an instance of bragging; implies exaggerated claims and often an air of insolent superiority; ostentatiousness; self exaltation; prideful speech
Psalm 5: 5-6
The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity. You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
Psalm 17: 8b-10
Hide me under the shadow of Your wings, From the wicked who oppress me, From my deadly enemies who surround me. They have closed up their fat hearts; With their mouths they speak proudly.
Psalm 94: 4
They utter speech, and speak insolent things; All the workers of iniquity boast in themselves.
Proverbs 14: 3
In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, But the lips of the wise will preserve them.
Proverbs 27: 2
Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.
Galatians 6: 14
But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
James 4: 16
But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
Sharp Tongue - Bitter words; spiteful and malicious; hateful speech; unpleasant speech; harsh; painful or stinging words; proceeding from or exhibiting strong animosity; words marked by resentment or cynicism; intensely harsh
Psalm 52: 2
Your tongue devises destruction, Like a sharp razor, working deceitfully
Psalm 57: 4
My soul is among lions; I lie among the sons of men Who are set on fire, Whose teeth are spears and arrows, And their tongue a sharp sword.
Psalm 64: 2-4Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, From the rebellion of the workers of iniquity, Who sharpen their tongue like a sword, And bend their bows to shoot their arrows-bitter words That they may shoot in secret at the blameless
Psalm 139: 5
They sharpen their tongues like a serpent; The poison of asps is under their lips. Selah.
Proverbs 5: 3-5
For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, And her mouth is smoother than oil; But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, Her steps lay hold of hell.
Proverbs 17: 4
An evildoer gives heed to false lips; A liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue.
Proverbs 25: 18
A man who bears false witness against his neighbor Is like a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow.
Perverse Tongue - Directed away from what is right or good; perverted; obstinately persisting in an error or fault; wrongly self-willed or stubborn; peevish
Proverbs 3: 32
For the perverse person is an abomination to the Lord, But His secret counsel is with the upright.
Proverbs 4: 24
Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you.
Proverbs 8: 7-8, 13
For my mouth will speak truth; Wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are with righteousness; Nothing crooked or perverse is in them. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.
Proverbs 10: 31-32
The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, But the perverse tongue will be cut out. The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, But the mouth of the wicked what is perverse.
Proverbs 16: 4
A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, But perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
Proverbs 17: 20
He who has a deceitful heart finds no good, And he who has a perverse tongue falls into evil.
Acts 20: 30
"Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves."
Cursing (or, as we called it, cussin') - An appeal or prayer for evil or misfortune to befall someone or something; a profane word or phrase; a swearword; to invoke evil or misfortune upon. Ever heard anyone say, "Go to H**l" or "G*d D**n You!" It's a way of "invoking" a curse on someone.
Psalm 10: 12-13
Upon the wicked He will rain coals; Fire and brimstone and a burning wind Shall be the portion of their cup. [The wicked's] mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression; Under his tongue is trouble and iniquity.
Psalm 59: 12
For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips, Let them even be taken in their pride, And for the cursing and lying which they speak.
Psalm 109: 17-18 As he loved cursing, so let it come to him; As he did not delight in blessing, so let it be far from him. As he clothed himself with cursing as with his garment, So let it enter his body like water, And like oil into his bones. Let it be to him like the garment which covers him, And for a belt with which he girds himself continually.
Romans 3: 14
"Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness."
Romans 12: 14
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Coarse jesting - crude and rude jokes; not acceptable speech in mixed company; dirty jokes; vulgar and indecent speech; rough, low, common, inferior conversation
Ephesians 5: 3-4
But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
Strife, Arguing - Heated, often violent dissension; bitter conflict; quarrel; contention; disputing
Psalm 31: 19-20
Oh, how great is Your goodness, Which You have laid up for those who fear You, Which You have prepared for those who trust in You In the presence of the sons of men! You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence From the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion From the strife of tongues.
Proverbs 17: 14
The beginning of strife is like releasing water; Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.
Proverbs 18: 6-7
A fool's lips enter into contention, And his mouth calls for blows. A fool's mouth is his destruction, And his lips are the snare of his soul.
Proverbs 26: 20-21
Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases. As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, So is a contentious man to kindle strife.
1 Timothy 6: 3-5
If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.
MoneyPenny is shocked at some of these things!
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