Summary: Part 3 of the series.
Our Personal Relationship With God Part 3
Do Not Grieve The Holy Spirit Of God: Guard Your Tongue
This is the final message in my series on developing our personal relationship with Father. Over the last two weeks I have covered the importance of our building a more personalized relationship with Father and I have shared with you how Father gave us His Holy Spirit to help us function in this world. I have also discussed, in an attempt to sensitize you to the fact that you are not alone, how we tend to grieve the Holy Spirit through our actions and attitudes. This morning I will conclude this series by pulling both our actions and attitudes together in the form of how we use words. So this morning my message to you is one that is familiar, “Guard Your Tongues”.
Several years ago I preached a sermon titled “Your Mouth Will Get You Into Trouble”. As I thought back on that message, I did not discuss the impact of our tongues on the Holy Spirit and our personal relationship with Father. Although in the back of my mind I knew it, it just never seemed to make it to the forefront of my consciousness. How we talk, and what we listen to (a sermon for another day) directly impacts our relationship with Father and the Holy Spirit. If we can accomplish the small task of guarding (controlling) our tongues, there will be doors that will be open that we have never imagined. The act of controlling our tongues requires a lot of discipline. When I was younger I did not have such discipline. Some say that I may not have it now, but I would feel “obligated” to challenge that thought. Anyway, when I was younger, if a thought came to my mind it would often find its way through my lips. Everything was fair game, from telling the truth about someone’s attitude to revealing secrets in the form of enlightening someone about someone else. You name it I have done it when it comes to having “runoff of the mouth”. A dear friend of mine teases me now saying I can’t hold water because I talk a lot. I have learned, contrary to some people’s thought, to really control what I say in most situations. Am I where God wants me, no way, but I am moving closer. Realizing how my mouth can grieve the Holy Spirit gives me a new motivation to try harder. I want you to try with me.
Think about this as you would when you started the relationship with your spouse. Remember when you first started dating your spouse and you were on guard with them and refrained from saying certain things in their presence in order to make a good impression? You were always conscious of the fact that you could “say” the wrong thing. This is the sensitivity that we need to practice while realizing the Holy Spirit is always in our presence. Turn with me to James 3:8-10.
I. Controlling The Tongue: Revealing Vs. Concealing
“But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” James 3:8-10
I shared with you earlier how I used to talk a lot, about things I knew and things I did not know, which makes me smile at times. A few weeks ago I was at Dewayne’s house and he was trying to show his sister-in-law Lori how to connect to the internet using her IPAQ. Well of course Lori asked me about it and I felt obligated to give my thoughts – which to Dewayne’s ultimate enjoyment, turned out to be totally wrong. So I am still learning how and when to speak and when to say those magical words “I Don’t Know”, all of which directs back to the tongue. In the past, I would classify myself as a revealer. There have been times when I revealed things that should not have been spoken and to this day I regret those that I can remember. I would have been much better off being one who concealed versus revealed. You see, every time I repeated something I should not have I was grieving the Holy Spirit and He let me know by convicting my heart. On the flip side I have had secrets shared about me that were supposed to have been kept. While that was no fun, it held up to my face what I had done myself. Ever had a close friend reveal a secret you told them to someone else? Sometimes you have to have something done back to you for you to understand the impact you are having on others.