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The Power of the Spoken Word

(38)

Sermon shared by Joseph Rodgers

June 2002
Summary: A message on the power of the tongue.
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
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Sermon:
The Power of the Spoken Word
The Weight of Your Words in a Conscience-less Society

Introduction

Okay. Before we get started, letís agree that we all have the same problem. I donít want to see anyone elbowing their neighbor, nor do I want anyone to standing up in their chair, pointing and yelling across the roomóthatís you! No, we are all guilty. We pilgrims on a shared pathway. We are all like the whale, every time we spout off, we take a chance of getting harpooned.


The tongue is a fascinating muscle. With it, our taste-buds bring us pleasure by informing our minds if something is sweet or sour, spicy or bitter. It allows to shape our thoughts from mere sounds into specific words. Words which are useful in expressing genuine emotions and pertinent information. Fact is, without the ability to communicate, our civilization would be doomed. Unfortunately though, because of our tongues, life can be sabotaged and pain can be inflicted. Our tongues reveal one other thing about ourselves, it reveals our inner person. Tommy Nelson says that ďthe tongue is the bucket that dips into the well of a personís heart.Ē Someone once made the erroneous statement that "stick and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me." The truth is, "stick and stones may in fact break bones, but words can crush a spirit, assassinate a character and destroy a relationship. James says that our tongues, though it is small, that it is like a fire and that it can quickly get out of control and destroy anything in itís path. For example, back in 1871, a small spark in the OíLeary barn in Chicago set a blaze that engulfed the entire city that left 100,000 homeless, killed another 300, destroyed 17,500 building and incurred approximately $400 million dollars in damages. Thus, while we have the ability to bless God and others with our tongue, we also have the ability to spew venom and destroy lives.Letís consider our culture for a moment. From Jerry Springer to Jenny Jones, from the locker room to the playing field, from our homes to our schools we are getting ambushed by the weight of our words. Each and every day people are abusing one another by the selection of the words. We have become quite adept at talking trash and maliciously slandering one another for the sake of esteeming ourselves. But what is worse, some of us verbally abuse one another simply for pleasure of itówe enjoy hurting others. We go out of our way to find a fault in someoneís appearance in order that we may cause a rift in that personís soul. And for what reason...to cause them harm. It is no wonder that the Bible addresses the use of our tongues so often. Jesus spoke a great deal on the use of this tiny muscle, because he knew the wealth of itís power.I remember one time while serving as a student minister in Richmond, VA having to impose a NO SLAMMING rule because of the damage our students were inflicting upon one another. Our group was paralyzed by the gossip, slandering, back-biting and lying. I remember telling them that the last place where they should have to deal with this torment was at the church. Yet for some of them, because of the lostness and carnality of the people within the church, it was often the greatest place of insult. The truth is, it is a crying shame when the people of God speak as though they were speaking on behalf of the devil.Over
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