Summary: RU-ACC stands for rise up and choose Christ. This message deals with the wrong and the right ways to use our tongues.
RU-ACC The Tongue
I want you to act a couple of scenes with me. Suppose your teacher has said something that really has hurt your feelings in front of the class. You are so angry and you want to get back at her. You remember that her son was arrested last month for drug dealing. The thought comes to your mind, “Well at least I wasn’t arrested for drugs.” It’s true but should you say it?
Your friends are talking about how they admire a co-worker of yours who you don’t particular care for. They think the person should be chosen to be the new supervisor in the office. You think you would be as good a supervisor as the person. You knew the person from ten years ago in another city. Back then the person had been charged with rape by two young ladies, but the charges were suddenly dropped. The memory of it comes back fresh to your mind. It happened, but should you say it.
You really like being with another person. You work very well together in the church. One or both of you are married to someone else. You find that although you did not intend for it to happen, you’ve become emotionally attached to the other person. You believe you’ve fallen in love with them. You know that it would be wrong to pursue a relationship with this person. You’re convinced though that you are in love, But, should you say it?
You went to a church convention out of state. You had a very nice hotel room. As you were preparing to go into your room. You saw a very popular pastor back in your neighborhood coming out of one of the guest rooms with a very attractive young lady, laughing as they went out. You knew by the sound of his voice that it was definitely Rev. Davis. When you get back home, Somebody asks, “Did you see anything unusual at the conference.” You know what you saw and what you heard it, But should you say it.
In each case, if you choose to say it, somebody’s future is going to be altered and it’s going to be a very painful experience when it comes out into the open. Each time we have communion, I remind us to examine our hearts to make sure we are right with God and right with one another. For the Bible teaches to take communion in an unworthy manner can lead to sickness and to an early death. Far too often we examine our hearts for the big sins. As long as we have not committed the big sins, then we think we are okay. But if we are going to rise up and choose Christ, we have to accept that even the acceptable sins are not acceptable.
However in Proverbs this morning, God says there are six things that I hate, seven that are absolutely detestable to him. The six were prideful eyes, a lying tongue, murderers, hearts that plan evil, feet that are quick to rush to do something wrong, a false witness who spread lies, and a person that gets a bunch mess going that tears up peoples relationships and friendships.
Of the seven things that God hates, three of them have to do with us opening our mouths. The first one is lying, the second is lying in court, and the third is getting rumors and gossip going so that people start mistrusting each other. Now in the first two cases, we have no excuse, because we know we are intentionally being dishonest.
The third one of rumors and gossip, we try to justify by saying, “well honey, I’m just telling the truth” or “we get real spiritual by saying it’s a special prayer request on the person’s behalf.” We forget that we as Christians are called to speak the truth, “but we are to speak the truth in love.” Before you say something about someone, it should go through the filter of saying, “now is this loving.” If someone was saying the exact same thing about us, would we consider it loving?
The Scriptures speaks of how the tongue is one of the smallest members of the body, but that does not keep it from being a major trouble maker. How many of you have gotten in more trouble because of your tongue, than you have your foot, leg, arm, or shoulder all put together.
The thing about the tongue is that when it gets you into trouble, all the other parts of the body suffer with it. The tongue can give you a black eye. The tongue can keep you from running in a track meet. The tongue can keep you from having a job to go to tomorrow. It can keep you from playing in the basketball game.