Summary: Life and death are in the power of the tongue. The Lord wants us to speak life.

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Philippians 2:14-15

Pastor Talbert W. Swan, II


Someone once said that great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and small minds discuss people. The church that Paul wrote about was full of small-minded people who gossiped about each other and tore one another apart with their tongues. I wonder if we’re a bit like that church today?

We’re quick to avoid murder, stealing, and drunkenness in their literal sense, but we often assassinate fellow believers and leave destruction in our path by the way we use our tongues. Husbands have stabbed their wives with words that are as sharp as daggers and wives have lashed out with tongues that cut and pierce. Parents have devastated their kids by repeated blasts of venom. Children have exploded at their parents with volleys that have leveled the family like a bomb. And churches have been wiped out by wagging tongues that have sliced, diced, and chopped people to shreds.

Do you ever think that God may get sick and tired of hearing our negative words? The Bible says in the tongue there is the power of life and death. So many of us speak words of death: complaining, gossiping, lying, criticizing. We are going to speak words of life, and when it comes to words of death, we are going to zip it.

The title for today’s message is "I Won't Complain". I would like to ask you, how many of you would say honestly that you complain often. Would you raise your hand if that is you? Now, some of you at this moment, you are sitting next to a complainer who did not raise their hand. If you would like to complain about that, go ahead and raise your hand at this moment. The truth is, that it is incredibly easy for us to slip into a mode of finding the negative things in life and complaining about them, rather than searching for the good things. Like this one lady who was characterized as being very, very negative, she’d complain about absolutely everything. This lady, one time, went to the grocery store, and she was complaining because they only sell a whole head of lettuce. And she said, “I’m a single lady. I can’t eat all of the lettuce that goes bad. I demand that you sell me a half a head of lettuce.” And the worker there said, “We can’t,” and she threw a fit. So finally, the worker went back and was cutting the head of lettuce in half. One of his buddies said, “What in the world are you doing?” He said, “Oh, some old bag who’s just a pain like you would not believe wants to buy a half a head of lettuce.” Then he looked up and saw that lady right by him, and he said, “And this fine lady would like to buy the other half of that head of lettuce.”

If you are like me, it is so easy to slip into a mode of complaining. We find fault with everything and everyone when we complain about big things or we complain about small things. We are going to talk about containing our complaining, and let us start with scripture from Philippians 2:14-15.

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