Summary: This is part of a series I did on topics my congregation requested. Several of these messages are two parts.

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Sunday June 11, 2006

Scripture Reference: James 3:1-12


A. [] Did you hear about the three preachers who went fishing together? After they got out into the middle of the lake they started confessing to each other the sins that seem to continue to plague them. One preacher said he had a drinking problem. Every once in a while he would go to a neighboring town where no one knew him and he would drink. They other preacher said he had a gambling problem. He would take his vacations in Las Vega and gamble away his money. The third preachers said, “After hearing you guys I wish I had gone first because my great sin is gossip.”

B. Who can fill in the blanks fro me? Sticks and stones ___________ __________ _____ __________ but __________ _______ __________ ________ ____. How many of you use to use that when you were kids? When someone told you that you were to fat or to skinny. When they said you were to short or to talk or when you wore glasses and they called you four-eyes. How many of you found that reciting that little rhyme really helped you get over the hurt that was caused by what those kids said about you? Probably none of us in fact I would say that most of us here today can still recall the hurtful words that were said to us or about us when we were children.

1. Someone rewrote that little rhyme to make it more truthful and here is what they wrote. “Sticks and stone may break my bones, but they will soon be mended. But names and words hurt my soul and the damage has never ended.” That sounds a little more realistic doesn’t it?

2. Have you ever heard the expressions “Loose Lips, Sink Ships”? Do you know where that expression came from? I did not know this until a few weeks ago but during WWI enemy spies use to hang out at the British pubs to hear the loose talk of sailors about their upcoming assignments and what they would be doing. The information they gathered allowed the German submarines to sink many ships and end the lives of thousands of people. The government came up with this slogan to try and help stop the flow of information to the enemy. There was even a poster to illustrate the point and here it is. (Insert the photo)

3. I think I can safely say that ever person here knows something of the expression Loose Lips, Sink Ships. For some loose lips have caused divorce. For others loose lips have ended friendships. For others loose lips has ended in the lose of employment, and I sadly have to admit that more than a few churches have been lost due to loose lips.

4. One of the most popular reasons that our friends give us for not attending church is because the church is full of hypocrites. Sometimes we think of the hypocrite as one who acts godly on Sunday and then the rest of the week they act like the devil, but hypocrisy is also revealing in the words we say. If someone hears us talking about church and then later on they hear us cussing or telling dirty jokes or saying unkind things about a fellow employee what do you think they will feel about our so called Christianity? They will believe that it is a false and worthless faith. They will feel that their suspicions about Christians has been verified, we are all hypocrites and I don’t need to give up my Sunday to be a part of that when I have to deal with it the other six days of the week.

C. Today as we are continuing to look at the topics you have requested we are going to look at the subject of gossip. Whether you are here today as a Christian or as someone who is exploring this whole Christianity thing there is something in this message for all of us because all of us have been affected by gossip whether we have been on the giving or receiving end. Now I am quite sure that there are a number of books on or in the Barnes and Noble bookstore on the subject of gossip, but I would suggest to you that there is no book like the bible for answering the question of how we can effective deal with the issue of gossip.

Trans. There are three things I want to share with you on the subject of gossip or taming the tongue. I am not sure if we will finish this discussion today but I will try. Here is the first thing you need to know.

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