Summary: A Bible Study which demonstrates that we ARE responsible for our speech because what we say comes from who we are! The purpose is to remind believers of the need to control their attitudes AND their speech!
2215 Grant Avenue
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
Pastor David Wilson
Pastor’s Cell Phone (310)213-4586
My Mouth and I
I’m certain that you have had the sad experience of saying something and then immediately responding to your own words by saying, "I really didn’t mean that." I regret to inform you that in fact you DID mean it, even if just for an instant. If you spouted words of hate or insult you might’ve regretted those words milliseconds later, but when they came out of your mouth they revealed what was in your heart.
In Matthew 15:18 Jesus declared, "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from they heart and they defile a man." Words reveal what is in the heart. If you often provide encouragement to the downtrodden then you have a heart that has compassion. If you speak words that confirm your trust in God during a crisis (rather than worry) then you have a heart that is filled with faith.
The other side of the coin says that when you speak impatiently that you are demonstrating a heart that is filled with impatience. When you speak words that are cruel and demeaning you have a heart that is cruel and does not respect the person you are speaking to.
Your words reveal your true character and nature. Other human beings can only know what you are thinking when you put those thoughts into words. In fact, your words are admissible evidence to prove to others what the actual intent of your heart is.
We often watch movie stars on screen. Some of our favorites seem to be so sweet and kind. We forget that they are actors and actresses. Who are these stars in their unguarded moments? Do they throw fits and insult and demean the film crew when the cameras are no longer rolling? Do they complain about their dressing room or the food on the set? Who they are when the cameras aren’t filming is the reality. What we see on the television or movie screen is an edited and enhanced fantasy.
Who are YOU when the cameras stop rolling?
Far too often we declare that we are not responsible for our words because they were spoken in anger or frustration. The apostle James writes (James 1:19-20) "... let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak; slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." It is doubtful that James would give such a command if we were not responsible for words spoken in anger.
James goes on (in James chapter three) to declare the shame of those who do not control their tongues. he declares that they are not under the leadership or control of the Holy Spirit. Just as we are to submit our bodies to the Holy Spirit and he teaches us self-control so that we are not sexually immoral or abusing drugs, we are responsible to submit (by an act of our will) our tongues to Lord’s will. This is only done when we act in obedience to the Lord.
Jesus also spoke regarding this subject of how we speak. “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (Matthew 12:35-37)
The Apostle Paul touched on the subject of speech more than once as well. He declared, “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” (Colossians 4:6) He also commanded the church at Ephesus, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29)
The reason we have difficulty taming our tongues is that we fail to take responsibility for the attitudes behind them. We declare that others make us angry when in reality all they can do is present circumstances that we respond to. Anger is a choice and we are responsible to be angry in a correct manner and to demonstrate that anger properly.
If we recognize that we are responsible for our attitudes then we must be responsible for our words as well. An attitude adjustment will usually lead to a vocabulary adjustment.
It is much easier to control our words when we begin to bring our wrong attitudes under control.
The following is a list of the kinds of speech that is condemned in Scripture. As you read this list you might pray and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you regarding speech patterns that might exist in your own personal life. Please note that it not intended to be an exhaustive list, but rather a general guideline. I suggest you ask the Holy Spirit to show you any type of speech in your life that is not proper.