Summary: First in a four-part series dealing with how Christians should use their tongues. This message describes the idea that "out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks."
How We Talk
Part 1 – It’s a Matter of the Heart
April 11, 2010
NOTE: THE ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE FORMAT IS FROM ANDY STANLEY'S BOOK, "COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE."
When researching this message I came across a quote that says we spend 10 years of our lives speaking.
I don’t know how accurate that is, but I don’t think that there is any denying that if we were to take all the time we talk each day and add it all up, it would be pretty significant, right?
So I would think that it’s pretty important that we look at how we talk and what’s behind how we talk.
Scripture is filled with references about how we speak – how we speak to God and how we speak to other people.
And over these next four Sundays, including today, I’m going to talk very directly about stuff, and some of you aren’t going to like it.
Now, my hope is that you will hear a lot of encouragement as well. This isn’t meant to be a series where you just get beat up, because while Scripture is full of encouragement about how to speak well, and we’re going to cover some of that as well.
But honestly, folks, all of us need to look (or hear) how we talk and examine what’s behind it.
And let me tell you something: You can’t see the big mirror that’s right up here. As I’m speaking to you I’m also talking to myself. This isn’t you – it’s us.
I’m as guilty of any of you here today of saying things that should not have been said, or of saying things that needed to be said, but could have been said differently or in a different setting.
So while I’m speaking, please understand that I’m talking to myself as much as anybody, okay? I’m not picking on you.
But let me also say something else: if you are feeling picked on, it’s probably not me doing it. I’m guessing that it’s the Holy Spirit speaking you.
And I would suggest you listen to that, and ask Him to do His thing in your life, whatever that is.
But let me ask you this:
Have you ever met a person who all they do is speak negatively?
You say, “I just started going to this doctor in town.” And they say, “Oh, I can’t stand that guy. He’s a lousy doctor. He did this or that…”
Or you say, “I’m thinking of trying out that eating place over on Main.”
And they say, “Oh, don’t go there. We went there and I was sick for a week.”
Or you say, “I just met so and so the other day.” And they say, “I can’t stand that person. I don’t have anything good to say about that person.”
I’ve heard all those things, and you know what’s really sad? I’ve heard Christians say all those things.
They never have anything good to say about anybody or anything.
Or they lie or whatever.
And think about it: if they have any friends, what kind of friends do they have? Usually it’s more people just like them.
Birds of a feather flock together, right?
On the other hand, I’ve heard lots of people – Christians and non-Christians – who are really positive people.
They’re cheerful in how they talk about people, experiences, and whatever.
It’s not that they deny that there are some things that go wrong in life, and even tragedy.
But they understand that dwelling on that stuff and holding onto them does no good and can only serve to bring them down and keep them from seeing the possibility of God bringing something good out of all that.
So how can deal with this? How can we become people who speak in ways that are good and not bad?
God: It’s waaaaayyy more than just training ourselves to speak right or in ways that help people see us as nice people.
Jesus touches as the root of how we speak in our Scripture passage for today.
Luke 6:43-45 (p. 730) –
43 "No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.
You’ve all heard the phrase, “You are what you eat.”
(Don’t say to the person next to you, “Obviously Pastor has been eating a lot of turkey and nuts lately…”)
It’s true that our physical bodies reflect our eating patterns.