Faithlife Sermons

This One Tweak Changes Everything

Life Hacks for the Spiritual life  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  27:55
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A slip of the food you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue you may never get over. Benjamin Franklin

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In his beautiful TEDx talk, John Sutherland, an officer in London's police department, explains a principle in forensic science called Locard's exchange principle. Developed by Dr. Edmond Locard, known as the Sherlock Holmes of France, this principle has a simple premise: every contact leaves a trace. In other words, every criminal leaves a trace behind him. One forensic expert put it this way:
Wherever he steps, whatever he touches, whatever he leaves, even unconsciously, will serve as a silent witness against him. Not only his fingerprints or his footprints, but his hair, the fibers from his clothes, the glass he breaks … the paint he scratches, the blood … he deposits or collects … This is evidence that does not forget.
Sutherland explains how this principle applies not just to forensic science but to all human relationships:
Every time two people come into contact with one another an exchange takes place. Whether between lifelong friends or passing strangers, we encourage, we ignore, we hold out a hand, or we withdraw it. We walk towards or we walk away. We bless or we curse… And every single contact leaves a trace. The way that we treat and regard one another matters. It really matters.
How we communicate really Happens?
James is writing to Jewish Christian community… Who have questions about living authentic Christian lives?
Last week we look at one of the key principles of living an authentic life and has to do with how we listen to each other... James tell us that be Slow to Speak and Quick to listen… This is how you build lasting relationships, listening, appreciation the person that God has placed on the other side of us. As the church we have to get better at communication…
Here is why - “Good community comes out of good communication” Our words really matter!
T/S In chapter 3 James talks about the smallest members of our bodies the tongue… He starts off by examining our motives.
James 3:1–2a ESV
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.
T/S Evidently there were those who wanted to take on the roll of teachers… James is not saying that it is bad asperation… Rather we should evaluate our motives.
1. Evaluate the quality of our Communication.
T/S James tells us that there is power in our Words… He gives us two metaphors so that we can picture the power of words.
James 3:3–4 ESV
If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.
T/S Words are power and so it only stands to reason that we should harness the power of Words… James gives us another life hack.
2. Experiment with Power of Positive Words.
I love the word experiment in life… because it gives room to fail… James already tells us that we all stumbles in many ways…
T/S With power comes the possibility of Destruction. James spend most of his discussion on this point.
James 3:5–10 ESV
So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
T/S James gives us another life hack… to good communication.
3. Eliminate destructive and unguarded words.
T/S If we all struggle..with our communication…How do we maintain healthy habits? James gives us the answer with two questions.
James 3:11–12 ESV
Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
T/s In order to maintain
4. Establish healthy habits by revisiting the source.
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