Faithlife Sermons

My Big Fat Mouth Part 3 - Untamable

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Embarrassing Story -
Forgot about something I should have known about.
Point of Story: Once our words are out there, they are just out there.
Good News is God gave us a pause button but what we really needed was a rewind button.
To get all caught up
We have been in building on Proverbs 18:21
Proverbs 18:21 The Message
Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.
Week one we talked about the power of our words to bring death or life.
Killer Words - Hasty, misinformed, relationally destructive, emotionally unintelligent conclusions.
Life Giving Words - Thoughtful, thankful, peace-filled, informed, relationally healthy, emotionally intelligent, Messiah shaped conversations.
Remember we had a hand signal that went with it.
Wise people, skilled people, start with the Heart and they take their cues from love’s point of view.
So picking up where we picked up last week:
Words are powerful.
To us
Over Us
About Us
Words are impacting your relationships right now, your marriage, your friendships, your children. Words are important. There are people who had no confidence but word spoken over them gave them great confidence. There are people with great confidence who had words spoken over them that just destroyed them.
What is amazing about this is that modern science is just now catching up to what the Bible has already been saying. For instance John Gottman, a Jewish researcher, studied positive and negative relationships among 700 married couples believed that negative experiences (words and emotions) needed to be balanced with positive experiences in a relationship in order for the relationship to be successful. He thought that there was a ratio of positive and negative experiences to balance or cancel the negative. Gottman used a 5:1 ratio, 5 positives to every 1 negative in his study. Ten years after his study he found that he was 94% correct on the his divorce rate prediction based on his study. There are many other researchers who support a ratio in negative to positive experiences, the ratios vary from 7:1-4:1, that I have seen.
So listen this why James the brother of Jesus said this statement
James 1:19 HCSB
My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger,
your words are powerful.
You can destroy a person with your words and not even be in the same room with them.
James the Lord’s brother has lots to say about your words and your anger. As a matter of fact, there are three big areas with James (1) Quick to Hear (2) Slow to Speak (3) Slow to Wrath leads to a godly life. That is the entire book of James.
And, I bet some of your worst relational regrets could have been avoided if you would have listened to the incredible advice that James gave on speech. These words are free, your grandmother had them on the coffee table. If you would have listened to them you could have avoided your worst relational regrets.
This is incredible insight. By the way if you are watching this and you have never read the New Testament and you are wondering where to start? I would say James because it is so practical and helpful. If you are Jewish, dude, you will love it. It just feels like home when you read James.
To the Bible
James 3:2 HCSB
for we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a mature man who is also able to control his whole body.
If we were in a Baptist Church you would have all said amen.
This is one of those statement that I don’t care who you are, we all agree with this.
Listen to this.
James 3:2 HCSB
for we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a mature man who is also able to control his whole body.
What does he mean: gain control of your tongue, you gain control over your body, everything.
So we ask, “hey can you explain” and he gives us illustrations from his world.
James 3:3 HCSB
Now when we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we also guide the whole animal.
I have never done this but I understand it is hard to do but I have been on a horse before.
I am not great on horses but I remember when my daughter Orah road her first horse and she was just iddy biddy and here is my daughter controlling this horse by just controlling the mouth.
He says okay so you don’t like the animal illustration, lets talk boats
James 3:4 HCSB
And consider ships: Though very large and driven by fierce winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.
Show picture of ancient merchant ship.
Small Part
Big Influence
Disproportinate influence of the tongue.
James 3:5 HCSB
So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how large a forest a small fire ignites.
The tongue thought is about 4 inches and weighs ounces controls the whole body.
By the way, the tongue never gets tired. Run marathon your legs will give, talk all day, the tongue will just keep going.
James says, you like illustrations here is another one.
James 3:5
James 3:5 NIV
Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.
We don’t have to imagine this we have seen it (show video of forest fire).
Have a lighter, just a little spark (light lighter).
Something so small and show the destroyed remains of a burn forest.
No logical correlation but it is ture.
James 3:6 HCSB
And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is set on fire by hell.
Words can be deadly. A divorce can be initiated by a word. A church, congregation can be torn apart by a word. Your career can end by a word. It is deadly.
Notice he says your mouth got your whole body in trouble. The mouth does not just get the mouth in trouble. Parents when your kids smart off to you, do you put the mouth in time out or the whole body in time out? No one has ever divorced a mouth but a whole person, no one fired a mouth but a whole person.
The truth is some of us have scorched the people we love the most with our words.
What we do when someone holds us accountable for our words?
We defend ourselves with more words.
I was just mad.
I did not mean it.
I had a bad day.
We are smart people and I think we all know:
If you start a fire accidentally, you are still responsible for the fire you started.
If it’s an accident your still responsible.
James goes even further, really deep
James 3:6
James 3:6 HCSB
And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is set on fire by hell.
James says to make it worse your tongue is set on fire by hell. Here is what he is saying, “the place that epitomizes evil is now living inside your mouth.”
James says, “you wonder why you say those things? there is something in you, it is evil.”
It can do extra-ordinary harm.
Just when he think he is done, he is not
James 3:7 HCSB
Every sea creature, reptile, bird, or animal is tamed and has been tamed by man,
Not domesticated but subdued. We are not threatened by the animal kingdom. Every once in a while there is a snake or shark attack but they don’t threaten the human race.
We have gotten all this under control but
James 3:8
James 3:8 HCSB
but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
James says there will always be an unpredictable part about the mouth.
Every baby should be born with a warning label “Tongue is Lit.”
Here is the ridiculous part of this whole thing. I say ridiculous because some of you are guilty of this right now and some of you by the end of the day will be guilty of this. He is talking to Jesus followers and he says this: James 3:9
James 3:9 HCSB
We praise our Lord and Father with it, and we curse men who are made in God’s likeness with it.
You say you love God but then you treat people who God loves in such a demeaning way.
James 3:10-11
James 3:10–11 HCSB
Praising and cursing come out of the same mouth. My brothers, these things should not be this way. Does a spring pour out sweet and bitter water from the same opening?
It should not be.
Asks a question.
James 3:12
James 3:12 HCSB
Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a saltwater spring yield fresh water.
It is just not natural, it is disturbing what is wrong with our mouths.
Here is what disturbing: The END.
He just stops there. No further application, no anything, he just moves on. Here is what James knows
There is no once-and-for-all solution.
It is a lifetime of work.
Your not going to master it one sitting.
Your not going to wake up one day and get every word right but you are going to have to work at it.
Here is how you work at:
Start with the Heart
Take Love’s Point-of-View
Bridle that Beast
What do we do?
I was tempted to say, “james does not tell you and i am not going to tell you, good bye.”
I am going to give you Three Words:
Yashav (Dwell) Col 3:16-17
Colossians 3:16–17 HCSB
Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Chosheck (Restraint) - Proverbs 17:27
Proverbs 17:27 HCSB
The intelligent person restrains his words, and one who keeps a cool head is a man of understanding.
Shomer (Guard) - Psalms 141:3
Psalm 141:3 HCSB
Lord, set up a guard for my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips.
What if your prayer was just simply this each day for the next seven days:
Heavenly Father, give me words of life and not words of death. Help me to be quick to listen and slow to speak.
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