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Loving With Your Words

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This Sunday is day 13 in the reading of the Relationship Principles of Jesus. In talking with several people, we have come to the conclusion that loving God and loving others is a challenging task. As we explore the topic, we see two things. First, we see how far we have come on this road to love and second, we see how far we have to go. Someone once said that it is not where you are, but what direction you are heading that makes the difference.
This morning we are going to talk about...

Loving With Your Words

Controlling our tongue is difficult.
James 3:2 ESV
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.
Notice that James uses the word “we.” We all have issues with saying the right thing at the right time or remaining silent instead of talking at the right time.
Our words come from within.
Matthew 12:34 ESV
You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
Unless you are deliberately hypocritical, what you speak shows what is in your heart. At that moment, whatever is prominent in your heart will come out of your mouth. If the blood flows evil in the heart, evil will come out of your mouth. If the blood flows good, then good will come out.
Mark 7:15 ESV
There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.”
In last weeks video, Rick Warren illustrated it this way. If you have a cup of coffee and you jiggle the cup, coffee will come out. What comes out of you when your cup is jiggled is what is inside.
We often say things like, “My parents make me angry.” No, your parents didn’t make you angry. Your parents jiggled the cup and anger came out. They didn’t make you angry, the anger came from inside.
And what was inside came out. Anger is often a precursor to evil words. James puts it this way.
James 1:19–20 ESV
19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Verse 20 could be translated “for male anger does not produce the righteousness of God.” It would be true of both men and women. It highlights that often anger is the source for all kinds of sins. We are more prone to hurt people with words when we are angry.
This morning I want to share with you three ways to love people with words.

Love People With Honest Words

Jesus had a special knack for loving people with honest words. One of my favorite parables is the parable of the Lost Son. In this parable, Jesus has an audience of sinners, people who knew that they were not living up to God’s standard. He also had an audience of religious people, Pharisees, who not only felt that they were living the best they could, but also put down those who were not living right.
Jesus uses the prodigal son to illustrate the sinners. They willfully walked away from the father. They went over to the unbelievers. They wasted their lives. What hope is there for these people? Jesus tells them that if they decide to turn around and come back to the father, they will be received with open arms. As he is lovingly honest about their sin, he also is honest about their hope.
The Pharisees are portrayed with the older brother. The older brother is resentful that the father threw a party of the younger brother. The father comes out and invites him in to the party to experience the joy of the fathers love. The older brother is left outside with a decision to make, the same one that the Pharisees had to make. Jesus was honest with them that their condemnation of sinners and unwillingness to help them was wrong. But he extended the invitation to sit at the table with the sinners and rejoice in those who changed course and followed God.
It surprises us at how blunt Jesus was sometimes.
Mark 7:6 ESV
6 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “ ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;
Mark 8:33 ESV
33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
Luke 9:41 ESV
41 Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.”
Sometimes its easier to be nice than to be honest. We have a choice of hurting people without our honesty or sugar coating the truth so that people may not even know what you are saying.
God tells us...
Ephesians 4:15 ESV
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
Proverbs 27:5 ESV
Better is open rebuke than hidden love.
1 Corinthians 13:6 ESV
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
We need to be honest with ourselves first. We need to check our motives and ask why we are using the words we are using. Then our honesty needs to be done in love.
Which elads to our second point.

Love People With Careful Words

There are three categories of words that we need to exercise great care.
The first category of words are words said in anger.
Ephesians 4:26–27 ESV
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.
The second category of words are words that repeat gossip or slander.
Proverbs 16:28 ESV
A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.
The third category of words are words that don’t need to be said.
Proverbs 21:23 ESV
Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.
When I was in the military I had training on dealing with interrogation. One method of interrogation was the have the person talk. If a person talked enough, something useful would come out. You might get extra information, you might catch a previous lie, or you might find a weakness that could be exploited.
Someone said that if you give a person enough rope, they will hang themselves. In other words, control what you say and how much you say. If you feel that you have to talk, don’t. Stop and ask yourself if you are repeating yourself, talking down to someone, or sharing gossip that will hurt someone else.

Love People With Building Words

Ephesians 4:29 ESV
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Some people have relegated these words to swear words. That is not what God is telling us. We certainly shouldn’t swear, but corrupting talk that comes out of our mouth has three tests.
First, does it build up?
Second, does it fit the occasion?
Third, does it minister grace to the person who hears it

T.H.I.N.K.

You might be helped by using the idea of thinking before speak. Using T.H.I.N.K. asks these questions

T - Is it Truthful?

Before you say it, is it the truth?

H - Is it Helpful?

Or is it just going to harm?

I - Is it Inspirational?

Does it build up or does it tear down?

N - Is it Necessary?

If it's not necessary, don't say it?

K- Is it Kind?

This week I will choose

Kind words

Proverbs 12:25 ESV
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.

Gentle words

Proverbs 15:1 ESV
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Honest words

Proverbs 24:26 ESV
Whoever gives an honest answer kisses the lips.
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