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Gracious Words

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To speak graciously that we might effectively minister to people for Christ

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Introduction

GRACIOUS WORDS
Text:
Goal:
Introduction
How many of you have ever filled out a job application? Whenever you are filling out a job application, it is crucial to make sure you use the right words. Consider these words from actually job applications. (found from various sources)
Consider these wors from actually job application A selection:
Education: “I have a bachelorette degree in computers.”
“Career break in 1999 to renovate my horse
“Please let me know if I can omit you in any way”
Career: “I have worked with restraints for the past two years.”
“Please let me know if I can omit you in any way” “Married, eight children. Prefer frequent travel” “It’s best for employers that I not work with people.”
“I am fully aware of the king of attention this position requires.”
“Career break in 1999 to renovate my horse
“Received a plague for Salesperson of the Year.”
Achievements “Received a plague for Salesperson of the Year.”
“Child care provider: Organized activities; prepared lunches and snakes.”
Experience “Child care provider: Organized activities; prepared lunches and snakes.”
“It’s best for employers that I not work with people.”
“It’s best for employers that I not work with people.”
“It’s best for employers that I not work with people.”
Words are powerful. Words can build up; words can destroy. Words start wars, but words can also bring peace. Words can draw people in; words can push people away. The difference in what words will do is the kind of word used. The right word is like honey, sweet and pleasant. The wrong word is like vinegar, sour and distasteful. Just how powerful are words you?
If you have a smartphone, it probably has predictive text. Where based on a few letters your smartphone can guess—with often amazing accuracy—your next word.
Just the other day, I was proofing a church announcement and it read “If you are brining someone from the Pensacola community, be sure...” Yes, a warm salt water bath is a great way to softening up your guest for a church event.
Many of us have felt the power of a hurtful word and probably all of us have even said a hurtful word to someone else. “Dumb. Stupid. Idiot. Jerk.” These words stir up hurtful feelings, none of which are desirable.
Let me ask you this: If someone paid you $5 for every kind word you said about people, and collected $1 for every unkind word, would you be rich or poor?
Think of it this way — If someone paid you $5 for every kind word you said about people, and collected $1 for every unkind word, would you be rich or poor?
Many of us have felt the power of a hurtful word and probably all of us have even said a hurtful word to someone else. These words stir up hurtful feelings, none of which are desirable.
You are so dumb. You're no good! You're stupid! You will never make it!
Many of us have felt the power of a hurtful word and probably all of us have even said a hurtful word to someone else. “Dumb. Stupid. Idiot. Jerk.” These words stir up hurtful feelings, none of which are desirable.
Dumb. Stupid. Idiot. Jerk.
You are so dumb. You're no good! You're stupid! You will never make it!
That was so dumb.
You're no good! You're lazy! You're stupid! You will never make it! What is wrong with you! Your too old! No one wants you! No one likes you! You can't do it! You're ugly! Get away from me. You're fat! What kind of Christian are you! Give up!
What is wrong with you! No one wants you! No one likes you!
You can't do it! You're ugly! You're fat!
Get away from me. What kind of Christian are you! Give up!
These words stir up hurtful feelings, none of which are desirable.
If you have a smartphone, it probably has predictive text. Where based on a few letters your smartphone can guess—with often amazing accuracy—your next word.
Words can build up; words can destroy. Words can draw people in; words can push people away. The right word is like honey, sweet and pleasant. The wrong word is like vinegar, sour and distasteful.
Let me ask you this—now don’t raise your hand: could you go 24 hours without saying any unkind words about, or to, another person? If you can’t answer 'yes' must recognize that you have a serious problem. If you can't go 24 hours without drinking liquor, you're addicted to alcohol. If you can't go 24 hours without smoking, you're addicted to nicotine. So if you can't go 24 hours without saying unkind words about others, then you've lost control over your tongue."
Look with me at and this morning I want us to be reminded that our words should be gracious words.
Let me ask you this—now don’t raise your hand: could you go 24 hours without saying any unkind words about, or to, another person? If you can’t answer 'yes' must recognize that you have a serious problem. If you can't go 24 hours without drinking liquor, you're addicted to alcohol. If you can't go 24 hours without smoking, you're addicted to nicotine. So if you can't go 24 hours without saying unkind words about others, then you've lost control over your tongue."
If you can’t answer 'yes' must recognize that you have a serious problem. If you can't go 24 hours without drinking liquor, you're addicted to alcohol. If you can't go 24 hours without smoking, you're addicted to nicotine. So if you can't go 24 hours without saying unkind words about others, then you've lost control over your tongue."
James 3:5–6 KJV 1900
5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
James 3:
James really named it on the tongue, didn’t he?
Little member, unless you’re a cow and then wow—what a tongue.
boasteth great things…a world of iniquity…sounds like a real trouble maker.
Knowing that I will give an account for my words...
Look with me at and this morning I want to share with you how you bring your tongue under control.
READ
STICKY STATEMENT: With our words, we can either Go gracious or go foolish.

I. Get wisdom.

Outline
GRACIOUS WORDS ARE DESIRABLE.
Solomon writes They are appropriate, favorable, and pleasant. Our tendency is to respond to heated situations with words that are not gracious.
Let us consider the observations Solomon made about foolish words in contrast to gracious words.

How do you get wisdom?

from the very word of God
Proverbs 2:6 KJV 1900
6 For the Lord giveth wisdom: Out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
from the very word of God—that means I need to read and heed
I need to be listening

What does getting wisdom do for you?

Wisdom helps you discern what is true, what is right, and what should be done in different situations.
Proverbs 2:6 KJV 1900
6 For the Lord giveth wisdom: Out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
Proverbs 2:9 KJV 1900
9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, And equity; yea, every good path.
,
gracious = appropriate, favorable, pleasant

What if I don’t get wisdom? What if I go foolish?

Look with me at verse 12, Solomon observes that foolish words “…swallow up himself...” means to be destructive.
Look with me at verse 12, He observes that…
Foolish words end relationships, ministries, produce unproductive students, bitterness, etc.
Foolish words are destructive (v. 12).
“…swallow up himself...” means to be destructive

Foolish words cut.

Foolish words cut.
Proverbs 25:18 KJV 1900
18 A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour Is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.
Foolish words burn.
James 3:6 KJV 1900
6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
Foolish words poison
They poison But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
James 3:8 KJV 1900
8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Note no man can tame, but God can tame man’s tongue.
Exodus 4:11–12 KJV 1900
11 And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.
They poison But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Foolish words end relationships, ministries, produce unproductive students, bitterness, etc.
Foolish words end relationships, ministries, produce unproductive students, bitterness, etc.
TRANSITION: With our words, we can either Go gracious or go foolish. To go gracious, we must...
Get Wisdom.
...

II. Purpose your words.

It is no wonder the Psalmist said, “Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.”
He is full of words. He cannot control them. (v. 14a)
Paul warned Titus () For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers…
We do well to avoid them and becoming like them!

II. Gracious words are not an accident.

ILL. “When I hit my thumb with a hammer, I don’t shout Awesome! Not going to tell you what I say. Mommy!!!” When hurtful words are used at us, our natural tendency is to respond to hurtful words with hurtful words. Gracious words are not an accident, they are learned and purposed.
GRACIOUS WORDS ARE NOT AN ACCIDENT.
ILL. “When I hit my thumb with a hammer, I don’t shout Awesome! Not going to tell you what I said. After reading that text of accusation, how do you respond? In the heat of an argument, what do you say?”
When hurtful words are used at us, our natural tendency is to respond to hurtful words with hurtful words. Gracious words are not an accident, they are learned and purposed.
Our natural tendency is to respond to hurtful words with hurtful words. Gracious words are not an accident, they are learned and purposed.
READ

The words of a fool

The fool begins with harmless words, but by the time he is through, he is engaging in moral blindness.
“…full of words...” — Words, words, words. “I’ve got a word for that!”
He talks as if he knew everything, but he doesn’t.
He boasts of what he will do.

Gracious words flow from a heart of purpose.

We purpose to eat, sleep, study, etc. Do you purpose to use gracious—right words?
We will give an account of all our words—purpose to use gracious words.
Matthew 12:36 KJV 1900
36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
Colossians 3:16 KJV 1900
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
If I fill myself with the Word of Christ, I will respond like Christ.

Purpose our words to be acceptable — remember wise people know what is acceptable. (v. 12)

Proverbs 10:32 KJV 1900
32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: But the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.
The wise person knows what right to say.
The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness. The wise person knows what right to say.
The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness. The wise person knows what right to say.
Gossip, lying, backbiting, complaining, etc. are not acceptable, they spring from a wicked heart, not a wise heart.
Gossip, lying, backbiting, complaining, etc. are not acceptable, they spring from a wicked heart, not a wise heart.
Our words reveal what’s in our hearts.
How do I know? By getting in the Book! We reflect what we are.
Aesop shares a helpful fable to illustrate this point: Once upon a time, a donkey found a lion's skin. He tried it on, strutted around, and frightened many animals. Soon a fox came along, and the donkey tried to scare him, too. But the fox, hearing the donkey's voice, said, "If you want to terrify me, you'll have to disguise your bray." Aesop's moral: Clothes may disguise a fool, but his words will give him away.
Once upon a time, a donkey found a lion's skin. He tried it on, strutted around, and frightened many animals. Soon a fox came along, and the donkey tried to scare him, too. But the fox, hearing the donkey's voice, said, "If you want to terrify me, you'll have to disguise your bray." Aesop's moral: Clothes may disguise a fool, but his words will give him away.
[ ] Our words give us away. In we see that the tongue has power; that it is by nature hypocritical; and that it can only be transformed from above.
[ ] Click bait articles
If all I do is fill my mind, ears, and eyes with worldly things, I will respond like the world.
If all I do is fill my mind, ears, and eyes with worldly things, I will respond like the world.
If all I do is fill my mind, ears, and eyes with worldly things, I will respond like the world.
Luke 6:45 KJV 1900
45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
This is why our words are not acceptable, because “foolishness is bound in the heart of a child...”

Purpose our words to fit.

The fool begins with harmless words, but by the time he is through, he is engaging in moral blindness.
The fool begins with harmless nonsense, but by the time he is through, he is engaging in moral blindness.
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
He may begin with harmless nonsense, but by the time he is through, he is engaging in raving madness.
Proverbs 25:11 KJV 1900
11 A word fitly spoken Is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
“…full of words...” — Words, words, words.
10:14 A fool doesn’t know when to stop. Words, words, words. He talks on and on as if he knew everything, but he doesn’t. His endless chatter almost inevitably includes boasts of what he will do in the future
William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments, ed. Arthur Farstad (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), 910.
That which is appropriate.
He talks as if he knew everything, but he doesn’t.
He boast of what he will do.
ILL. “Try on clothes…don’t fit.”
That which is appropriate.
Proverbs 25:11 KJV 1900
11 A word fitly spoken Is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
That which is appropriate.
That which is fitted for the situation.
That which is fitted for the situation.
That which honors and pleases God.
That which honors and pleases God.

Gracious words flow from a heart of purpose.

We purpose to eat, sleep, study, etc. Do you purpose to use gracious—right words?
We will give an account of all our words—purpose to use gracious words.
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
Matthew 12:36 KJV 1900
36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
Colossians 3:16 KJV 1900
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Colossians 3:16 KJV 1900
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
If I fill myself with the Word of Christ, I will respond like Christ.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
If I fill myself with the word of Christ, I will respond like Christ.
TRANSITION: With our words, we can either Go gracious or go foolish. To go gracious, we must...
Get Wisdom.
Purpose our words.
...

III. Share gracious words.

ILL. “Many website will let you share their webpage by having some sort of sharing button or link. They want you to share their website with others. Our smartphones have buttons dedicated to sharing pictures, webpages, etc. with others. SHARES ”
ILL. “Many website will let you share their webpage by having some sort of sharing button or link. They want you to share their website with others. Our smartphones have buttons dedicated to sharing pictures, webpages, etc. with others.”

The Bible encourages the sharing of gracious words.

Share button of the New Testament is?
Ephesians 4:29 KJV 1900
29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
The prohibition is “no corrupt communication” and we often focus just on that.
The prohibition is “no corrupt communication” and we often focus just on that.
What will good communication do? EDIFY MINISTER GRACE
“…but that which is good…” — we are encouraged to share that which is good. So what are you sharing?
“…but that which is good…” — we are encouraged to share that which is good. So what are you sharing?
Acts 10:38 KJV 1900
38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Oh, how people need to hear gracious words!

People need to hear gracious words! Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Proverbs 12:25 KJV 1900
25 Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: But a good word maketh it glad.
Colossians 4:6 KJV 1900
6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
How quick we are to condemn, to point out the sin and folly of others, yet fail to point out the cross and the hope of the Gospel?
How quick we are to condemn, to point out the sin and folly of others, yet fail to point out the cross and the hope of the Gospel?
How negative we get about our culture and the world we live in? Why are we not telling others that there is a better way? That there is hope?
Do our hearts yearn for the homosexual to hear the gospel? Do our hearts yearn for the rebellious young man or woman to heed the Gospel message? Or are our words harsh and unreasonable?
Do our hearts yearn for the homosexual to hear the gospel? Do our hearts yearn for the rebellious young man or woman to heed the Gospel message? Or are our words harsh and unreasonable?
If I use gracious words in my evangelism, how many more would listen to the Gospel?
If I use gracious words in my evangelism, how many more would listen to the Gospel?
Proverbs 16:24 KJV 1900
24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, Sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
Pro
Why would I ever hesitate to share a good word?
Why would I ever hesitate to share a good word? Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
James 4:17 KJV 1900
17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
God forbid, that we would be guilty of not sharing gracious words.
God forbid, that we would be guilty of not sharing gracious words.
Proverbs 16:24 KJV 1900
24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, Sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
What are some gracious words we can share? For the sinner — But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

What are some gracious words we can share?

For the sinner — But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
For the Christian — If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
For the Christian — If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
For all — O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
Proverbs 12:25 KJV 1900
25 Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: But a good word maketh it glad.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 KJV 1900
11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
TRANSITION: With our words, we can either Go gracious or go foolish. To go gracious, we must...
Get Wisdom.
Purpose our words.
Share gracious words.

Conclusion

Now, imagine with me if all of us chose to use gracious words. Imagine with me if you said I’ll go gracious with my words. What would happen in your circles? With your friends, in your classes, your sports team, your home, etc.
Gracious words are desirable. Gracious words are not an accident. Gracious words are meant to be shared. Go gracious or you’ll go foolish.
“The words of the wise man’s mouth are gracious words…”
Foolish words are unreasonable (v. 13-14a). They begin with foolishness and end in madness. Even after their many words, they still don’t make sense.
It is no wonder the Psalmist said, “Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.”
He is full of words. He cannot control them. (v. 14a)
Paul warned Titus () For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers…
We do well to avoid them and becoming like them!

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