Summary: Your speech reveals whether your heart has been changed by the Word.
Your speech reveals whether your heart has been changed by the Word.
Our Words to Others Reveal our Faithfulness to God
The theme of “STEADFASTNESS” is still prevalent, even in this passage on the tongue. (1:25)
James will address the tongue again in 3:1-12
He is following a familiar theme taught by Jesus - our words reflect what is in our heart.
Matthew 12:33–37 "“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. " "You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. " "The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. " "I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, " "for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”"
Matthew 15:11 "it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”"
Your Mouth vents what is in your heart!
Proverbs 18:21 "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits." Illus Some have commented that Kim’s voice reminds them of Karen Carpenter. Popular singer from the 70's and 80's. Died at 32 from complications from anoxia. What started it? A review that wrote about her and called her “Richard’s chubby sister.”
Characteristics of Faithful Speech (Outline from Ray Pritchard)
1. LISTEN MORE “Quick to hear”
Not in a hurry to reply
Our minds listen faster than someone can talk, so while the other person is talking, we are already formulating our response and we TUNE THEM OUT
Two monologues do not make a dialogue.” ~Jeff Daly
Tips for active listening: (from Ray Pritchard - http://www.keepbelieving.com/sermon/2006-04-08-What-Was-That-I-Never-Heard-You-Say/
(1) Look directly at them (instead of letting your eyes wander) while they are speaking
(2) Look for non-verbals.
(3) Don’t interrupt. Period. Just don’t do it. Don’t finish someone else’s sentences either.
(4) Ask clarifying questions. “Could you repeat that? How long have you been feeling that way? What else about that really bothers you? How often do you feel frustrated about the way I act?"
(5) Don’t plan your response while you are listening to them talk.
(6) summarize what they have said
2. TALK LESS “slow to speak”
a. Proverbs 29:20 "Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him."
b. Ecclesiastes 5:2 "Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few."
c. “The older I grow the more I listen to people who don't talk much.” ~Germain G. Glien
3. CALM DOWN “Slow to anger.” The emotional response is most often wrong.
Two Contrasts - 1:21
1. Selfish, angry words produce filthiness and rampant wickedness
2. The “implanted Word of God” will save your soul
Types of Speech that reveals a heart problem (from Tongue in Check by Joe Stowell)
2. false witness
9. contentions words
10. God’s name in vain
11. beguilement (tricking someone with charm)
13. sensuous speech (filthy talk -Ephesians 5:4 "Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.")
The Problems lie in our HEART
ARROGANCE is the heart issue demonstrated when we fail to listen
FEAR is the heart issue demonstrated when we badger people, seekiaffirmation,
PRIDE is the heart issue demonstrated when we impress others, flatter others use exaggeration or slander (we put others down). Pride may also be the root for those who are busybodies - knowing the “insider information” Gossip, giving careless opinions, and angry words all demonstrate a heart of fear
ANGER is at the heart when there is contention, Lying, strife, slander, murmuring, cruel words or rebellions words, defiling words, sulking - withholding words to punish another person
LUST is the heart issue demonstrated when we tell Dirty jokes, double meaning humor, or Derogatory or sexist remarks.
APPLICATION: Can you go 24 hours without making a harsh criticism, or snippy comment? Without saying something hurtful? If you can’t go 24 hours without DRINKING, you are an alcoholic. If you can’t go 24 hours without DRUGS you are an addict. If you can’t go 24 hours without an unkind or sarcastic word, you have no control of your tongue! (Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author of Words That Hurt, Words That Heal - told by Rick Ezell, One Minute Uplift (7-21-06)