Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tame Thy Tongue

Our holy God expects that we tame our tongues. "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. And do NOT grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, (sarcasm) slander and every form of malice, BE KIND and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ forgave you" Ephesians 4:29:29-32 Are we wise to be reluctant in speech?  Are the quiet folks timid or mature?  Charles Baker shared his utter amazement as he over heard an untamed tongue at a soup kitchen. This chatty, proud volunteer, while serving the homeless....went on and on and on...about his vast experience in ministering to the poor in other countries. God says "I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech." Proverbs 8:13 We must examine our motive behind our words. Will our comment build up others...or are they intended to benefit our self importance? "In the pride of your heart ...you think you are as wise as a god..." Ezekiel 28:2-7 It was NOT easy for Ezekiel to speak this truth the the prideful king of Tyre, and then Ezekiel was reminded by God to take up a lament concerning the king, to NOT rejoice when others are self-deceived to believe they are without sin. We must THINK before we speak and wisely employ a filter between our proud mind and our ever-ready mouth. Were the words of this prideful missionary helpful, necessary, or inspiring to his hungry audience? Was he intending to bring God or himself glory? Boasting while serving is very unattractive!  God knows our hearts, and our intentions. Have you ever known a chatter box?  Have you sought their wise counsel, or do you avoid them?  A fool is a person who persists in the telling of too much unwanted detail without regard or sensitivity to the body language of those distancing themselves.  They seem to be blind to the rolling eyes and disinterest of those obviously tuned out.   Politely we endure the curse of an untamed tongue, and ponder this wisdom:  
"When words are many, sin is NOT absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise." Proverbs 10:19 -----The sin may very well be our NEED to speak and NOT hold our tongue.  "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom." Proverbs 11:2 ---- Mature Christians guard their speech, they are quick to listen and slow to speak.  Charles then reminded all the men that their retired pastor LC rarely shares during bible study, but when he does speak, wise men in the room ponder deeply every word LC shares.  WHY? "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have all been made in God's likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.  My brothers this should NOT be.....(What politician, pastor, friend, neighbor, lost soul, sports figure, news anchor have I cursed out loud or in my heart? ) ----Who is wise and understanding among you?  Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the HUMILITY that comes from wisdom.  But if you
harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts DO NOT BOAST about it or DENY the truth. Such wisdom DOES NOT come down from heaven but is earthly, UNSPIRTITUAL, of the devil. For where you have ENVY and SELFISH AMBITION, there you find disorder and every evil practice.  But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first PURE; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness."  James 3:9-18  We are to forgive others, and be considerate, full of mercy...as Christ is to us, and as He resides in us, and as we surrender to His omniscience, we are fully equipped to love others as we are loved.  "Brothers loved by God, we know that He has chosen you, because our gospel  came to you NOT simply with words, but also with POWER, with the HOLY SPIRIT." 1 Thessalonians  1:4-7.   We have the mind of Christ and the power and capacity to love those who annoy us, as Jesus did.  "Now about brotherly love....
we do NOT need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other....Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win respect of outsiders and so that you will NOT be dependent on anybody."  1 Thessalonians 4:9-13. God's will for us to be discerning, yet kind is a command.  God expects us to use our collective gifts to draw the lost to the Light in us...We do this effectively by smiling as we keep our hands busy, and our mouths shut. SUMMARY LESSON:  Our daily life, our humble quiet deeds are to give honor and glory to God, not attention to ourselves. "The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception."  Proverbs 14:8. So says the Lord who knows the content of each heart..."The heart is deceitful above all else."  Brother James warns us to confess our sins to one another so that we may be healed, pure and holy before the Lord.  "A fool finds no pleasure in understanding, but he delights
in airing his own opinions." Proverbs 18:2. A fool usually airs their opinion without ever wondering what their audience has to say on the subject.  They feel best when heard, not in the hearing. We have all been annoyed by people who are insistent in giving their unwanted opinion.  "Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning IF he holds his tongue." Proverbs 17:28 ~ "When He ascended on high, He led captives in His train and gave gifts to men" Psalm 68:18 "The very One who ascended higher than the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe...it was He who gave some to be evangelists, some to be pastors, some teachers...to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be BUILT UP until we ALL reach UNITY in the FAITH and in knowledge of the Son of God and become mature attaining to the WHOLE measure of the fullest of Christ." Ephesians 3:8-13

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