Summary: The issue is not learning how to control our tongues, but experiencing something new in our hearts.

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Open: Our lives are filled with a long train of clich¨¦s -- saying and expressions that are so familiar to us that we heard said so many times we can finish them before the person talking gets to the end of it. So we’re going to start off today with a pop quiz to see how many of these clich¨¦s you know by heart.

Many hands make .... light work

Don’t put off to tomorrow ..... what you can do today

Any friend of yours is.... a friend of mine

A chain is only as strong as ...its weakest link

Don’t throw the baby out with.... the bath water. ( I wonder if anyone ever actually did this?) "Oops I didn’t realize there was a baby in there!"

An apple a day .... keeps the doctor away. (that definitely originated from someone with an apple orchard.)

Be it ever so humble, there’s place like home.

A bird in the hand is worth, .... two in the bush.

The more things change, the ....... more they stay the same.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it ...... a thousand times.

Sometimes clich¨¦s express good common sense -- street wisdom if you will. But sometimes they are absolutely wrong. for example, if I said, "I wasn’t laughing at you, I was laughing .... with you"

Chances are that’s not really true. If you hear someone say this, chances are they’re just throwing a clich¨¦ out there trying to cover up what they are really doing. They are definitely laughing at you. And of course we’re all familiar with;

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but ... words will never hurt me."

Is that true? Of course not. We know it’s wrong. It’s grade school wisdom that we used in defense of the mean bully in the school yard. He was mean spirited and foul mouthed but unfortunately, he was also bigger than us. So we used a little clich¨¦ to try to defuse the verbal assault we were enduring at the time. But inside we knew it wasn’t true. Word do hurt and when mean spirited people say mean things about us -- it not only hurts, but it often stays with a long time after the words have been spoken.

So most likely every one of us have had our mothers teach this age old proverb --

"If you can’t say something nice about someone then ....don’t say anything at all." I doubt there has ever been a mother or father that hasn’t said this about a thousand times to their children. In fact, I got a little video clip this past week in which a mom is teaching her child that exact thing.


Learning how to manage the way we talk about others is a lesson we all need to learn early in life. But it’s a lesson that needs to be repeated over and over again as we grow because it seems that this is an area in which we all struggle from time to time. James is concerned about

What Are We Talking About?

What does slander mean? The dictionary defines it as: a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report. It is an attack on the reputation of someone by publishing falsely and maliciously things that slander and injure. It’s untrue statement which damages someone’s character. Slander is actually against in the law in our culture. Society recognizes that your reputation is your stock and trade. Ill. in the very early and founding years of New York, those who slandered or defamed another person were apprehended and the punishment was to pierce through their tongue with a hot iron and then banish them from New York. Now that would act as a deterrent -- maybe.

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