Speech: Proverbs 15.4 VOTD

“Speech that heals is like a life-giving tree, but a perverse tongue breaks the spirit.”

Proverbs 15.4

As a book of wisdom through the fear of God, Proverbs emphasizes the power of the word and its influence upon others.

In what ways can speech heal and give life?

#speech #tongue #VOTD

Christmas party shock

They were drawing names and giving out Christmas gifts at the party. The room was crowded, and two people were designated to carry the gifts to peopchristmas-presentsle when their names were called.

A name was called for a lady. She immediately rose and met the gift-giver halfway. She had the prettiest smile on her face. The excitement was running high in the room.

Someone near me turned and said, “She just had to get up so everybody could see her.” Oh, my! Shock and surprise overcame me as I looked to see the lady, still smiling, with her gift. And then I thought, the tongue. There it is. In all the wonderful hustle and bustle of the Christmas gift-giving season, when excitement was at a high level, Satan was at work. He used his tool to squash some of the joy from the evening. Oh, I don’t think the person meant any harm. It was one of those moments when a person’s thoughts came out before they had time to stop them.

The tongue is an unruly evil. It is hard to control. Someone has said if you want to learn a person, go fishing with them. As women we might say, go shopping with them. Clydetta Fulmer said, “As Christians, we are to be people of few words.” She’s right. We need to listen and think more than we speak. Remember two ears, one mouth?

Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics taught us to pretend every person we met had a sign around their neck which said, “Make me feel special.” We should say uplifting things to others, to think of good things, and squash unkind things as quickly as possible.

The first Bible verse we learned in school, yes school, was printed on a foot ruler they gave us. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

We’d do well to think before we speak and take three breaths before we answer a question. We need to go about doing good as we follow the Savior’s example in speech and deeds.

#tongue

Did you know that Solomon warned about Twitter?

Did you know Twitter has been around thousands of years? King Solomon even warned about the trouble it could get you into:

Do not curse the king, even in your thought; do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom; for a bird of the air may carry your voice, and a bird in flight may tell the matter.” (Ecclesiastes 10:20)

Who says Solomon’s wisdom was only good for the times that he was living in? Definitely not anyone who’s found their selves regretting the amount of trouble that 140 characters or less can cause!

#solomon, #tongue, #trouble, #twitter, #wisdom

Hugh’s News & Views (Words)

THE WORDS OF MY MOUTH

David prayed, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14, NASB).

Someone said that it is easy to “slip” with our tongue because it is in such a slippery place. The brother of Jesus wrote: “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” (James 3:2, NKJV). Christ Himself said, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37). Continue reading

#hughfulford, #speech, #tongue, #words

Comment this verse: Ephesians 4.29

“You must let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for the building up of the one in need, that it may give grace to those who hear” (NET).

A friend commented on this verse elsewhere. It seemed appropriate to post it here and invite others to make their comments on it. What say you?

#bible-commentary, #tongue, #words

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(#60) The Proverbs of Solomon 12:18-19-Sword swallowing 101

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 12:18-19: “There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health. 19 The truthful lip shall be established forever, But a lying tongue is but for a moment.”

Whoever composed the children’s rhyme, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me,” never read this proverb. Words can penetrate, slash, slice, peel, and pare the very core of a person’s heart. Verbal “bullying” can produce a defeat the same as physical “bullying.” Another proverb says, “The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost body” (Proverbs 18:8). People are as eager to swallow talebearing as if it were “tasty trifles.” The “lying tongue” is quickly proven to be “lying,” thus the life of a lie is “but for a moment.” No one should give a “talebearer” an ear to bear the tale to! Jesus Christ thought names and labels can be hurtful when He said: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matthew 5:21-22). Propagandists specialize in using hurtful names and labels that intimidate the souls of good people.

“The tongue of the wise” can speak words that go deeply into another person’s heart, but they do not hurt or injure, for they are “truth.” “Truth” is eternal, because it originated with God, for: “He is a God of truth” (Deuteronomy 32:3-4); “For the word of the LORD is right, And all His work is done in truth” (Psalm 33:4); so that we may “know the certainty of the words of truth” (Proverbs 22:21); Jesus’ enemies even said, “we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth” (Matthew 22:16); and Jesus declared, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37). Truth will always prevail, “For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth” (2 Corinthians 13:8). Let us never be victimized by the “lying tongue,” but seek the “health” that only comes from the truth!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #health, #hurtful, #labels, #lying-tongue, #practical-lessons, #propagandists, #proverbs, #talebearer, #tongue, #truth, #verbal-bullying, #wisdom

Speak Gently

Speak Gently

Speak gently; — it is better far
To rule by love than fear;
Speak gently, — let no harsh word mar
The good we may do here.

Speak gently to the young, — for they
Will have enough to bear;
Pass through this life as best they may,
Tis full of anxious care.

Speak gently to the aged one,
Grieve not the care-worn heart;
The sands of life are nearly run,
Let them in peace depart.

Speak gently to the erring ones,
They must have toiled in vain;
Perchance unkindness made them so;
O, Win them back again!

Speak gently, — ’tis a little thing
Dropped in the heart’s deep well:
The good, the joy, that it may bring,
Eternity shall tell.

—Bates (The Gospel of the Kingdom edited by Hugh Croskery, 1878)

“Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn, Mercedes and Lauren Hitchcock

#christian-poetry, #tongue

THE WAY PEOPLE TALK by Winfred Clarke

Here’s a good little bulletin article that actually has a sermon outline for Nehemiah mixed in. I got it from the Montrose Church of Christ which is in a neighboring county. I thought some of you might find it useful.

THE WAY PEOPLE TALK

Most of us are aware that people are going to talk. Men are going to have their say about things. That doesn’t mean that what they say will always be right, but they are going to talk.

What is said by people is an indication of what is in the heart, for it is out of the “abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.” So it behooves us to be sure that we say what we ought to say in spite of what people in general may say.

You will see the importance of this in the book of Nehemiah. In the fourth chapter, you will find that which “Judah said,” that which the “adversaries said,” and what Nehemiah “said.” So here are at least three cases of people talking. But a great deal is learned from this as we see the “way people talk.”

Remember that Nehemiah has returned from captivity and had undertaken the task of repairing the walls of the city of Jerusalem for such was “broken down” (Neh. 1:3). The job of restoration was underway as one group after another was given an assignment. As you read chapter three, you will see that one group would be working in one place, and the “next unto them” would be another. This is found time and again in this chapter. Look at verses 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 12 of chapter three, and you will note this.  In the midst of all this activity, one will find people talking. What sort of voices will you hear?

I. THERE IS THE VOICE OF DOUBT

Listen to those of Judah as they say, “The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall” (Neh. 4:10).

This is equal to saying “we can’t.” That means they would reach a point where they will just stop and not try. They would not put forth the effort that it would take for them to move through the rubbish. They would see it as insurmountable.

How often have we heard these voices that would say, “it cannot be done,” but all we had to do was look around, and somebody was doing what some said could not be done. Yes, people will talk about those things that cannot be done, but they can be done.

II. THERE IS THE VOICE OF DEFIANCE

Notice, “And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease (Neh. 4:11).

Here are people who are avowed enemies of the project being undertaken. They are not about to stand aside and allow this work to go unhindered. They will oppose it with all their might. This is nothing new, for the Devil has always opposed that which God would have done. His methods may vary, but he will oppose good works one way or the other.

III. THERE IS THE VOICE OF DETERMINATION

After the voices of those of Judah and the adversaries had been heard, there was need that Nehemiah speak. Somebody ought to say something that would boost the work. Somebody ought to be able to see something good. This is where the leadership of Nehemiah comes to the fore. It is said, “And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your house’s (Neh. 4:14).

Nehemiah was not about to stand back and allow this good work to be destroyed. He is not about to allow those within and without to stop such an effort.

It would indeed have been a sad day for the cause if he had not risen to offer encouragement. Suppose he had taken to bashing the work they were doing. You would never find good men involved in any such talk as this.

Be it to the credit of Nehemiah, that in spite of what others would say, the work would go on and succeed. So will it ever be.

Periodicals and Bulletins, Winfred Clarke

#encouragement, #faith, #guest-article, #leadership, #nehemiah, #sermon-outline, #tongue

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Psalm 52

Vs. 1-5 describe a truly evil man;

Vs. 6-9 contrast the righteous man.

The occasion for this Psalm seems to be Doeg’s betrayal and murder of God’s priests who had helped David and his men in their dire need (1 Samuel 21:1-9), while they were escaping the pursuit of King Saul (1 Samuel 21:10-22:23).

Verses 1-5: No evil person should “boast” because “the goodness of God endures continually,” i.e. God’s goodness will triumph always! A person’s evil nature is revealed by the tongue which: “devises destruction,” is like “a sharp razor,” “working deceitfully,” “love lying,” “love all devouring words,” and is a “deceitful tongue.” Truly, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21). The destruction of righteous people by tongue is because their good is hated. Solomon’s wisdom said: “Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, And whoever spreads slander is a fool” (Proverbs 10:18). Doeg stated his information in such a way that King Saul drew a wrong conclusion, but Doeg did not correct it. That led to the deaths of God’s appointed priests! It’s not enough “to love,” for a wicked person may “love evil more than good.” Given the choice today, Christians are told, “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God” (3 John 11). Verse 5 says, essentially, the same as Proverbs 2:22, that God will punish the wicked!

Verse 6-9: The “righteous” shall “hear and fear,” that is, pay attention and respect God’s condemnation of the wicked, and “laugh at him” (the wicked) because he trusted his riches instead of God. Jesus warned of “the deceitfulness of riches” as one of three things that choke out the Word of God in a person’s heart (Mark 4:19-20). Verse 8 says: “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.” “A green olive tree” will grow and ripen by trusting “in the mercy of God forever and ever,” and illustrates the development of faith (“trust”) in God over a lifespan. “The house of God” was a tabernacle (tent) at the time (Levites served in “the tabernacle of the house of God” (1 Chronicles 6:48), for Solomon had not yet built the temple in Jerusalem. Verse 9 states the persistence of a saint’s praise for the name of God.

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #evil, #tongue

Be Careful What You Say

Early in my preaching career, I realized that I must be careful the way I phrase things in order to be sensitive to the needs of the audience.

For example, on Mother’s Day, I always remember that not all women can be Mothers. In our exuberance to praise Mothers we can say something that will harm the childless.

Imagine being a childless Mother who hears the preacher say that God blesses godly women with children. The obvious conclusion is that she doesn’t have children because she is a sinner. Where does Scripture say that?

We can inadvertently say things that can offend people if we do not consider the larger implications of our words.

When I prepare a power point presentation, which are largely images, I give thought to how something can be taken. In our writing we must always consider this. Sometimes, I fail and people get offended. I apologize to them. But the better path is to try to prevent it from happening in the beginning.

We cannot always know what will offend people. In an audience, there are many people’s whose lives consist of events and scars that the preacher cannot possibly know.

Naturally, we can say things that cause harm without intention. Nevertheless, we can give every consideration to what we can control, in this area.

On Facebook, I just saw a quote that is intended to praise Mothers and Grandmothers. The quote is: The Best Moms Get Promoted to Grandmas.” That is sweet but doesn’t hold a shred of evidence in the real world. Accordingly, I would caution any speaker from using it in a lesson.

Countless Mothers have children who either die, are infertile or choose not to have children. What does it accomplish to brand these women as bad mothers? How does that help spread the Gospel and help anyone get to heaven? In fact, it may impede their spirituality!

Let us be careful what we say and use our tongue and pen wisely (James 3:1-12).

#grandmothers, #mothers, #parents, #speech, #tongue, #wisdom

The Positive Use of the Tongue

David spoke of his tongue as a pen (Psalm 45:1) and his enemies’ tongues as sharp swords (Psalm 57:4). We learn that God hates a tongue which forms lies (Proverbs 6:17). Isaiah prophesied a future time so happy that it would cause “the tongue of the dumb [to] sing” (Isaiah 35:6). The ungodly tongue is described by Jeremiah as a “deadly arrow” (Jeremiah 9:8). James calls the unruly tongue a “fire” (James 3:6). (Read More at The Proclaimer)

#christian-living, #speech, #the-proclaimer, #tongue

Daily Nudge: silence — and news

When is silence good? Under what circumstances and in what situations can silence be recommended? Scripture is always welcome in replies.

I’m so late today I’m surprised Daniel out west hasn’t popped in by now. I’m two time zones east of Eastern, though with DST, I’m only an hour ahead of Richard. Joy has us all beat, in the zones.

Tomorrow I’m off to the Christian camp so that Friday morning we’ll be present for the beginning of the National Christian Workers Encounter, which will last until Saturday. I hope to be home Saturday night. There’ll be no Internet access there, because it’s out in the boonies. You’ll have to scrape by without me. Hard, I know. No partying, hear?

Do you bring us news, O Wide of Ears and Upturned Lips?

#news, #nudge, #quiet, #silence, #tongue

A Drought of Truth?

Have you been shopping lately? Many of us do some shopping every week to varying degrees. I read the following story recently and wanted to share it with you. It is humorous but also contains a good lesson. I can certainly imagine a scene like this unfolding in any number of stores.

A store manager heard his clerk tell a customer, “No ma’am we haven’t had any for a while, and it doesn’t look as if we’ll be getting any soon…”

Horrified, the manager came running over to the customer and said, “Of course we’ll have some soon! We placed an order last week.” Then the manager drew the clerk aside. “Never,” he snarled, “never, never, never say we’re out of anything; say we’ve got it on order and it’s coming. Now, what was it she wanted anyway?”

The clerk replied, “Rain.”

It would be hard to be that clerk and not smile after watching the manager make a fool of himself by speaking before he knew what he was talking about! Sadly, the manager’s problem wasn’t just a matter of speaking out of turn; he was willing to say anything in an effort to make his store look good and in hopes of maximizing sales. He didn’t want the woman going elsewhere to buy whatever he thought she wanted, so he was willing to lie–and even order his clerk to lie–to try to keep the woman’s business. In this case, however, his lying made him look like a fool, at the very least. More significantly, he has proven himself to be lacking in integrity. Anyone who is willing to say anything to try to look good is not to be trusted. Their compliments are hollow and their explanations are not to be believed.

Let us consider Proverbs 12:17-22 at this time, which has much to say about lying:

“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. No grave trouble will overtake the righteous, but the wicked shall be filled with evil. Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.”
Friends, we all are tempted to lie at times for various reasons, but don’t give in to it! God knows when we stretch the truth or utter lies we think are small and harmless. He knows when we manipulate words to make ourselves shine in the best light possible. Remember, lying lips are an abomination before Almighty God! Such is repulsive to the One who sees all! If we deal truthfully at home, at work, and in all other situations, God will delight in us. What more could we really desire?

(my lesson today from www.AudioEvangelism.com)

#lying, #speech, #tongue, #words

RE: Ron’s post on speaking little

Just last night, I read that one way to sin less is to close one’s mouth. The specific topic was lying. The author graphed it out, for sake of illustration.

If you have three hundred conversations per week and you lie five times, your Liar Prediction Index would be three hundred to five. You want to lower the number of lies? Then watch this. If you have only two hundred conversations the next week, you’ll bring your net number of lies down to 3.3. Have sixty conversations the following week and you’ll lie only once. And here’s the real beauty of the system. If you want to stop lying altogether, have fifty-nine conversations or fewer. (Bill Hybels, Making Life Work, 88)

Well, we hope he’s talking tongue in cheek, we know it’s not quite like that. It almost sounds a bit like the Preacher’s admonition not to be excessively wicked (Eccl 7:17). But his point’s well taken, that to sin less, do not multiply words. As NLT puts it,

Too much talk leads to sin.
Be sensible and keep your mouth shut (Prov. 10:19).
Ron, I think you’re on to something.

#lying, #speech, #tongue, #words