Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Five ways our tongues get us into trouble, and two correct responses

Making The Most Of My Life: Six Ways We Waste Our Day

Part 2 of 6: Idle Speech

"The tongue has the power of life and death." Proverb 18:21 (NIV)

Introduction: Brief recap (Making The Most Of My Life: Six Ways We Waste Our Day, Part 1 of 6: Idle Living)




Power of our words

[illustrations of how words have encouraged]

[illustrations of how words have hurt]

"If we put bits into the mouths of horses that they may obey us, we guide their whole bodies. Look at the ships also; though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So the tongue is a little member and boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire!" James 3:3-5 (RSV)

Five Ways Our Tongues Get Us Into Trouble

Five Ways We Can Sink Our Ship

I. Gossip

"There is nothing so delicious as the taste of gossip! It melts in your mouth." Proverb 26:22; 18:8 (CEV)

We love a good gossip

It’s titillating

It’s a matter of control-to know secrets of others lives we shouldn’t

"An evil man sows strife; gossip separates the best of friends." Proverb 16:28(Living)


"Keep your mouth closed and you’ll stay out of trouble." Proverb 21:23 (Living)

"Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down." Proverb 26:20 (NIV)

II. Lying

"There are six things which the Lord hates, seven which are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, ..." Proverb 6:16-17 (RSV)

"God can’t stomach liars; he loves the company of those who keep their word." Proverb 12:22 (The Message)

Lying has pervaded our very culture down to the core

We are taught to lie:

-not to hurt someone’s feelings

"Am I fat?, Ugly? Does my outfit look bad?

-to protect ourselves, family, others

-to get ahead

"He who winks his eyes plans perverse things, he who compresses his lips brings evil to pass." Proverb 16:30 (RSV)

"Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel." Proverb 20:17 (RSV)

"The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death." Proverb 21:6 (RSV)

"God can’t stomach liars; he loves the company of those who keep their word." Proverb 12:22 (The Message)

"Lying lips are an abomination" (KJV, RSV)

"The Lord detests lying lips" (NIV)


"Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies." Psalm 34:13 (NIV)

"Lies will get any man into trouble, but honesty is its own defense." Proverb 12:13-14 (Living)

*Illustration: "The Boy Who Cried Wolf"

"Better to be poor and honest than a rich person no one can trust." Proverb 19:1 (Message)

"A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who utters lies will not escape...A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who utters lies will perish." Proverb 19:5,9 (RSV)

III. Slander

"As surely as rain blows in from the north, anger is caused by cruel words." Proverb 25:23 (CEV)

No one likes to be talked about in a negative way

Nobody likes insults; it hurts

"Your tongue is like a sharp razor, you worker of treachery." Psalm 52:2 (RSV)

"Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Proverb 12:18 (NIV)

"Sticks & Stones"

"Sticks & stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me"

This old adage is a lie.

Illustration-troubled youth committing great acts of violence at schools

Done out of anger because of cruel words/actions.

*[Time. "The Columbine Effect" March 19, 2001; also research

attitudes of students from Columbine after the incident;

research of youth who committed the acts of violence



"Whoever wants to enjoy life and have happy days must no longer speak evil, and must stop telling lies." I Peter 3:10 (TEV)

"O Lord, who shall sojourn in your ten? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly, and does what is right, and speaks truth from his heart; who does not slander with his tongue, and does no evil to his friend, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor." Psalm 15:1-3 (RSV)

Blessed are the poor in Spirit- You want to make it in life? You want to have lots of friends? Speak kind words and never harsh or hurtful words.

IV. Flattery

to Flatter- "to compliment insincerely" -Random House Dictionary

"Pretty words may hide a wicked heart, just as a pretty glaze covers a common pot." Proverb 26:23 (Living)

"Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel are smooth lips with an evil heart." (RSV)

"Everyone lies to his neighbor; their flattering lips speak with deception." Psalm 12:2 (NIV)

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