Summary: In this sermon, we explore the good uses of our tongues and our words.
A. Today, we are returning to our series called: “Speak Life – Speaking Words that Heal, not Hurt.”
1. The Bible tells us that words have the power of life and death.
2. God’s desire is for all of us to learn how to control our tongues so that our words bring life.
3. So far in our series, we have explored: The truth about lying; the malignant talk of gossip and slander; the ego talk of boasting, flattery and exaggeration; corrosive talk, which has to do with speaking words of complaining and criticizing; and in the last sermon in our series we talked about expletives deleted – lifting our speech out of the gutter.
4. We all know and understand how our tongues can cause much trouble and do much damage.
B. I can attest to the fact that my tract record with my own tongue has its share of dumb and damaging moments.
1. I remember arriving at church one day during my ministry in El Dorado, Ark. many years ago.
a. I walked into the kitchen and saw my friend standing there with an unusual expression on his face.
b. Not thinking…(that’s a key)…I said, “What’s with the funny expression on your face?”
c. He said, “I have Bells Palsy and half of my face is temporarily paralyzed.”
d. I felt terrible for his condition and that he had to put up with insensitive people like me!
2. I also remember a time when I was guest preaching at a church in California.
a. I arrived early and one of the first men I met was a super friendly man.
b. He said, “My name is Bob, but I spell my name different from other Bobs.”
c. Without thinking, I quickly blurted out, “Do you spell your name with two ‘O’s?”
d. Dejectedly, he said, “No, I spell my name backwards” and he walked away.
e. When I think about it now, I feel terrible, but at the time I mostly felt proud of my quick wit – how foolish I can be!
C. During this series, we have been learning to avoid the many ways our tongues can get us into trouble!
1. I have encouraged us to do what my mother told me a million times: “THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK!”
2. One of our best strategies should be what James, the brother of Jesus suggested, “Everyone should be quick to listen and slow to speak and slow to become angry…” (James 1:19)
3. Someone once wisely said, “A closed mouth gathers no foot.”
D. Today, I would like to turn our attention toward the good use of our tongue.
1. Up to this point in our SPEAK LIFE series, we have focused on eliminating damaging and destructive speech, which is really important for us to do.
2. Unfortunately, the wrong use of our tongues can undo any good things we do with our tongue, so eliminating the negative is critical.
3. Over half of the battle is won if we just eliminate the inappropriate, but that’s not enough.
4. To have healthy, positive relationships, we must communicate good words.
a. Imagine a relationship with someone where you never said anything inappropriate, but you also never said anything appropriate. In other words you never said anything at all!
b. It wouldn’t be much of a relationship, would it?
c. Therefore, we must develop the ability to speak appropriately to others - we need to learn to use our tongues for good.
5. This verse from Proverbs has undergirded this entire sermon series: The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Pr. 18:21)
6. Because I believe what the Bible says about the tongue having the power of life, I titled this sermon “Good Words Equal Good Life.”
7. I believe that if we learn to use our tongues for good, it will bless our lives and all of our relationships in amazing ways.
8. So let’s spend the rest of our sermon time this morning thinking about how to use our tongues to speak life which will result in blessings for us and for others.
I. Speaking Life in Our Relationship with God
A. Just think about how many important ways we can use our tongue and our words in our relationship with God.
1. Our tongues and words are useful at every stage of our relationship with God – the beginning of our relationship, the building of our relationship, the sustaining of our relationship, and the restoring of our relationship with God when necessary.
B. Let’s begin with the “Confession of our Faith” - We know from our study of Scripture that the confession of our faith in Jesus is important to the beginning of our relationship with God.