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Words

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Introduction

New Series: #Relationshipgoals
Mix of different types/tools of relationships
Not just romantic
Ever dismissed something - ended up being important?
Ignaz Semmelweis: German-Hungarian physician
1846 - studied 2 maternity clinics
One staffed by doctors - other by midwives
Doctors clinic had mothers dying of child bed fever 5x more often
1846 - data and stats more prominent
Used “trial and error” method
Differences - Birth on their sides?
Bell ringing after death?
Autopsies with no hand washing?
We take that for granted - but germs discovered 15 years later
Had no idea why this mattered - but it was a difference
Try washing hands, instruments and use chlorine for smell
Didn’t know it would disinfect
To them, this was normal, everyday behavior to not wash
But it changed everything!
Today we couldn’t imagine a doctor not washing hands...
Washing hands has saved countless lives, from something that seems small
Today - Looking at something small - insignificant
Also has the power to change the world
YouVersion: “Words”
Rudyard Kipling (Jungle Book): “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”
Sticks and stones may…
But it’s not true, is it?!
I want to start with scariest verse
James 3:1 ESV
1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
From day 1, I learned Glenn protected his pulpit
When others step up to teach, it lands on my shoulders
People call or show up and want to teach - I don’t let them if I don’t know them
How irresponsible to allow just anyone to come up
Luke 17:1–3 ESV
1 And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. 3 Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him,
We are all sinners who have to give an account
As teachers, you are still a sinner
It’s one thing to sin, it’s another to make someone sin
Why do you then think, teachers are judged with greater strictness?
Because they are handling the WORD of God
Teaching is meant to change the actions of a hearer
So teachers must teach the word of God, not change it
It’s tempting to want our own desires to come out
I would love to say, “everyone goes to heaven!”
But the Bible doesn’t say that
So, I cannot teach that because I don’t matter!
When Jesus said He had to die, Peter argued!
He said, “Never, Lord!”
Peter didn’t understand, he thought he was doing good!
Think about it - of course Peter doesn’t want Jesus too die!
It would clearly be wrong for that to happen
Matthew 16:23 ESV
23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
Peter must have been shocked!
I’d like to see the look on his face…
In Peter’s own mind he was doing good…
But Peter isn’t God!
In my mind, everyone going to heaven is good!
But Dan isn’t God!
Just like Peter, this is merely a human concern
So, I leave the truth to God
…and I just do my best to tell you what He says
And so….
If you want to teach, understand what you’re asking
Because teaching is risky business!
TRANSITION TO WORDS:
To teach, we use words, and they are powerful weapons!
John 1:14 (ESV)
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
What does John call Jesus? The Word
God’s part that created and redeemed all, was the Word
The Word was with God, and the Word was God
In a sense, we are our words!

1. Our words reflect us and accomplish our will

Just like God’s Word did!
James 3:2 ESV
2 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.
James says WE ALL stumble!
None of us is perfect!
So, your words are going to get messed up
If you control THAT thing, you can control anything!
How many have never said something stupid?
Toothpaste illustration:
Once words are out, they’re out!
So, make sure you use the right ones!
James 3:3 (ESV)
3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well.
Illustration: Kevin being pulled by Holly
That was a dog, imagine the power of a horse!
If you want to control them, it just takes a little bit!
It’s not that the bit is stronger than the horse
It’s the discomfort, the mental control that comes with it
That’s words too - powerful because of their work in your mind
And also in the relationships around you
Then he goes on to talk about a ship the same way…
James 3:4–5a (ESV)
4 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. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
Living in Fontana, winds are crazy!
Trash cans piled up
Show images of overturned trucks
Back then, ships were moved by mighty winds
But the direction was made by a little piece of wood
James 3:5b–6 (ESV)
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 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.

2. Your words can do a lot of damage

Illustration: California wildfires
Blue Cut fire burned Summit Inn
Elvis kicked juke box
People stopped on fwy, walked and their cars burned
Burned 37,000 acres, 213 buildings inc. 105 homes
Evacuated 82,000 people
In California 2020, wildfires burned 4 million acres
2018 a fire in Santa Rosa killed 41 people and destroyed 3,000 homes
Know how it started? Homeless man with a lighter…
A flame this big, did that much!
Your mouth, can do just as much damage
Let’s see how:
GOSSIP
Proverbs 16:28 (ESV)
28 A dishonest man spreads strife,
and a whisperer separates close friends.
The Asperkid’s (Secret) Book of Social Rules
Socrates was visited by a friend who heard a story

Triple-Filter test

1. Have you made sure it is true?
2. Is it good or kind?
3. Is it useful or necessary?
Socrates: “If what you want to say is neither true, nor good or kind, nor useful or necessary, please don’t say anything at all.”
JOKING
Proverbs 26:18–19 ESV
18 Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death 19 is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I am only joking!”
I am always in trouble for that one!
I start joking and Tasha gets that look…
“The Screwtape Letters”
Uncle demon is coaching a novice demon
He teaches that humor is a trick to get people to sin
C.S. Lewis (Screwtape): “If a man simply let’s others pay for him, he is ‘mean’; if he boasts of it in a jocular manner and twits his fellows with with having been scored off, he is not longer ‘mean’ but a comical fellow. Mere cowardice is shameful; cowardice boasted of with humorous exaggerations and grotesque gestures can be passed off as funny. Cruelty is shameful-unless the cruel man can represent it as a practical joke. A thousand bawdy, or even blasphemous jokes do not help a man’s damnation so much as his discovery that almost anything he wants to can be done… if only it can get itself treated as a joke.”
Humor covers a multitude of sins
LIES
Proverbs 12:22 (ESV)
22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
but those who act faithfully are his delight.
I told Wayne Sean was going to beat him up
Sean was called to the office - Wayne was terrified
“I thought we were friends”
I still think about that - it was 20 years ago
Those words were like toothpaste
I’ll never get them to go away…
There are million ways are words can destroy people
James 3:7–8 ESV
7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
Words can be so very awful…
But, what if we use this powerful instrument for good?

3. Your words can also do a lot of good

Compliments have same effect as cash
Illustration: What number on the flag in Seattle?
12 – the crowd!
On November 27th, 2005 SEA beat NYG in OT
Coach Mike Holmgren dedicated the game ball to the 12th man
11 false starts and 3 missed FG’s
Have you ever decided to use your words for good?
James 3:9–10 (ESV)
9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
You kiss your mother with that mouth?
You praise our Lord and Father with that mouth?
We are supposed to praise God with our words
Your words are a great thing to surrender to God
James 3:11–12 ESV
11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

4. Ultimately, you get to choose your words

Remember, they reflect who you are
Luke 11:23 (ESV)
23 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
When you speak, your words will do one thing or another
They will testify about God, or against Him
Illustration: Mark Twain met a preacher
He has heard the sermon in a book
He swore it was original
He sent him a dictionary with a note
“Words. Just words.”
Nathaniel Hawthorne (Scarlet Letter): Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.
Illustration: YouTube channel
I learned to stop arguing - no FB
When you have a channel, people are free to speak
I tried to be kind, he wouldn’t have it
I can handle arrogant people
I can have understanding for irrational people
I struggle deeply with arrogant irrational people
I would lie in bed thinking about what this guy said
Argue out loud with no one
Be snapped back into reality by my wife
I could literally feel anxiety building
And yet, every time he added a comment, I was right back to arguing with him
Finally, I shut it down - I had to
What’s interesting
I don’t know his name
I don’t know what he looks like
I don’t know where he lives, who he knows, or what his voice sounds like
I know one thing about him: his words...
Literally, all he is to me is text on a screen - and he would stir such emotion
That’s the power of words
If you want to make an impact in any relationship - you start here
Change your words
You can be constructive, or you can be destructive - your choice
But if you want to honor God, choose your words carefully
Use God honoring, encouraging, loving words
See what God does with that
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