Summary: Part 4 in series, “Freedom From…” this message examines six things that can be done to deal with our tendency to use words in destructive ways.
Freedom From Words That Kill, prt. 2
Wildwind Community Church
September 20, 2009
Last week we talked about words that kill. I divided words that kill up into two categories -- angry words, and empty words. Do you remember what I told you these two categories of words have in common? They both kill! Are you guys listening?! They both come from a place of separation from God. Neither of them can be said when we are close to the source of ultimate love so we always say them from a place of distance. I told you that this week I would go over some ways of rooting angry and empty words out of your life.
I will start with those things that are not going to change no matter what issues we are talking about. First is that meditation is in order. It is needed because it is through meditation that we begin to establish unconscious contact with God. Haven't you found, as I have, that you often forget about God like 5 minutes after you finish your quiet time. We move close to God during prayer and quiet time because we know we need to be close to God. But it's so easy to move back out of that space, and our anger, and angry and empty words come out of the space that is removed from God. Meditation helps us establish an unconscious connection with God, moving him into a deep place in our lives, where his peace and love are coming to pervade us, and hold us close to him even when we might not be consciously thinking about him. Even if you are thinking about God unconsciously, you will not respond to things in anger, and with angry and empty words. What is at the deepest center of you will determine what comes out of you. You all know that, and how often Jesus talked about that. So I continue to tout meditation as the fundamental place we must begin. You'll be getting information very soon about our spiritual formation groups, and meditation will be a key part of that. We simply cannot get serious about spiritual formation until we are serious about "being still and knowing that God is God." To cultivate stillness is to meditate. Now I will move on and give you some other steps you can take to deal with the problem of angry and empty words.
1. First is to realize where the angry and empty words are coming from. It will be much easier to deal with your tendency to speak angry words if you are also dealing with your anger. If you're trying to stop saying angry words, but are not dealing with your anger, then you are simply trying hard to keep the lid on. But as that anger continues to boil under there, it's just a matter of time before the lid blows off. Count on it. If you're trying hard not to gossip, and manipulate people with your words, you will have much more success if you are getting to the root of why gossip and/or manipulation are such attractive things -- in other words, what ego need are they meeting? That's the real question. We do sinful things because they meet ego needs - they gratify our egos in some way, and the more we learn about how that's happening, the more success we will have with overcoming this stuff. Now maybe this sounds like a lot of psychobabble to some people. But if you signed up tomorrow and got under spiritual direction, do you know what you'd spend a lot of time doing? Getting to the root of the demands your ego is making upon you and how those demands are separating you from God.
Now how do you indentify these things? How do you determine where your need to gossip is coming from and what ego need it is meeting? Well, like I said, a. you can get under some spiritual direction. I can give you names of people who do spiritual direction. They are people trained to help us through these kinds of questions. Another thing you could do is b. you could get into some good Christian counseling. I have names and phone numbers of outstanding counselors who could help you. Another thing you could do is c. you could read a book called Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, which will help you understand this stuff better and will itself give you further guidance as to what to do next.
d. Some of you might consider coming to see me and let me talk to you for a while. I can do a little counseling and a little spiritual direction to help you hear what the Spirit might be saying to you. e. Something I hope many will do is join a spiritual formation group. We'll be starting one for women and one for men in the month of October, and these groups will be designed to help you confront and deal with obstacles to living the Jesus life. Remember, we only find spiritual health as we open ourselves more and more to what? (Take guesses) TRUTH. Truth comes from asking hard questions and not letting up until we learn the answers. Anything that guides us into tough questions, and then eventually through the questions into honest answers will be of spiritual benefit to us. That is why those who oppose counseling on the grounds that psychology is a godless discipline are misguided. Psychology, when it is used to help us find truth and guide us toward it, is a valuable tool and one we should not neglect to use.