Summary: 2nd in series on Hinderances to revival, and 2nd sermon on the tongue. It examines ways we can encourage and help others with what we say.
A WORD FITLY SPOKEN (Speech Part B)
Jeremy Hinzman, a name is an embarrassment to his country. Perhaps you recognize the name. Let me fill in the gaps for those of you not familiar with him
In January 2001, Hinzman volunteered for military service in the US Army, and for months happily cashed his military paychecks. Shortly after 9/11 of that year, realizing he might have to fight after all, he claimed to be a pacifist, a conscientious objector. In spite of his objections, he was sent to Afghanistan, where he served with his unit. After coming back to the states, when he saw his unit was about to be deployed to Iraq, he declared his objections to the war in Iraq. Last year he deserted his unit, packed up his wife and infant son, and left for Canada.
Since that time, he has complained to all who will listen that Americans are guilty of war crimes and has done all he can to encourage our enemies and to undermine the soldiers who are, even at this moment, fighting to protect our nation.
Now I want you to know, there is no perfect army. We have made mistakes. There has never been a war where innocent people have not suffered. Innocent people have been hurt ever since Cain murdered Abel, but to fail to support the people who were his comrades, to undermine the very people he swore to protect is inexcusable.
But wait. Before you and I go throwing stones, and before we begin to look down our self-righteous noses at him, we had better take a close look at ourselves, for many of us have deserted the fight as well. Many of us have left the field of battle and instead of supporting our brothers and sisters in Christ, our fellow soldiers we too have joined the enemies’ ranks and attacked our own.
Last week we began looking at hindrances to revival. We said last week, that one of the hindrances to revival is a negative, cutting tongue. This morning I would like us to look at another hindrance to revival, the failure to use our tongue to encourage, for I believe one of the reasons we don’t see revival, is that we don’t help each other as we should.
- Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Did you see that? The Bible says that 2 are stronger than 1. If one falls, the other is to pick him up. My friend, you and I are not only to avoid using our tongue in a bad way, injuring those we claim to love, but we are to use it in a good way also.
Listen to these proverbs.
> Proverbs 12:9 …the words of decent people rescue.
> Proverbs 12:17 … the words of wise people bring healing.
> Proverbs 12:25 A person’s anxiety will weigh him down, but an encouraging word makes him joyful.
> Proverbs 15:4 A soothing tongue is a tree of life …
My friends, you are to encourage, to build up, and to help each other with what you say.
There are several ways you can do that.
I. WAYS TO HELP WITH WHAT YOU SAY
1. Give wise, godly counsel –
> Proverbs 15:7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge …
Share godly counsel, share godly advice when it is asked. Don’t dress it up. Don’t beat around the bush and try to dilute what you have to say. Don’t turn to the world and try to figure out what the latest Cosmopolitan magazine might say. Share wise, godly counsel.
2. Correct when necessary –
> Proverbs 28:23 He who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than he who flatters with the tongue.
There are times when you and I must correct a brother or sister who is on the wrong path. There are times when we must correct our children, and it is better to do so when necessary in order to help them.
> Proverbs 27:6 (HCSB) The wounds of a friend are trustworthy…
If you find it necessary to correct someone, this verse tells us several things about the way you are to do so:
a) Friendship includes correcting – If you are a true friend to a person, then part of being a friend is being honest with that person. If you have a friend that is hurting himself, tell him of your concern. If you have a friend that is damaging her witness or her family, tell her. That’s part of being friends.
b) You should care about the one you correct – You need to care about the person you are correcting. You need to share the correction with the right motive and in the right spirit. Let me tell you, those driving lessons you give to the cars around you when you are driving down the road are not given in the right spirit, nor for the right reason. If you are “correcting” or “helping” a person and your voice is louder than the one you normally talk with, then you are probably not “helping” in the right way or with the right motive.