Summary: Words are powerful!
DVD Mini-Movie: The Power of Words (worshiphousemedia.com)
Title: Speak Sweeter
Text: James 3:1-12
Thesis: Words are powerful…
Tim McGraw’s hit song Live Like You Were Dying, is the springboard for the current series of messages. The song is the story of a man who learned he was dying of a fatal disease and what he learned about living his final days well. It is a song about what he found to be important and how he hoped everyone could have the chance to live like they only had thirty days to live.
The series is based on the materials provided for the Live Like You Were Dying Church Campaign Resource Kit available from WWW.LLYWD.ORG. In addition to the suggested sermon titles and general outlines, I have attempted to cite any other specific references lifted from the resources.
In our last parish, my personal physician was also a member of our church and a friend. One day when I went to his office, his nurse assigned me an examination room, where I sat patiently… waiting. When he came into the room I wanted to say, “Physician, heal thyself!” He had some fairly new and nasty abrasions on one side of his face and his arm. So I asked, “Tom, what happened?” And he told me how he had been walking on his treadmill one evening and making faces at his kiddos when the treadmill spun him off the back, trapping him between the wall and the treadmill which continued to race along while he scrambled to extricate himself from it all.
Sometimes life feels like that… we are on this treadmill, trying to keep up and deal with all the distractions along the way when suddenly off we go.
In the book of James, we are reminded that while on the treadmill of life we are busy making plans about today or tomorrow. Then, while the treadmill is racing along beneath our feet, God asks, “How do you know what will happen tomorrow? Don’t you know your life is like a morning fog which is here for a short time and then is gone?” James 4:13-17
That text is a good reminder that the days of our lives are literally in the hands of Almighty God.
Last week we were reminded of the brevity of life and the need to live like we were dying… embracing every day as a gift from God and living in the present with eternity in mind.
In Tim McGraw’s song, Live Like You Were Dying, he sings of how he asked a man who was dying what he did when he realized he had a short time to live. And he said, “I went sky diving: I went rocky mountain climbing; I sent two point seven second on a bull named Fumanchu. And I loved deeper, and I spoke sweeter, And I gave forgiveness, I’d been denying.”
I think it is interesting how once he got through doing all the thrilling, death defying things, he settled in and focused on nurturing his relationships with God and with people during the last days of his life.
This morning we are going to look at the idea of speaking sweeter, as one of the best ways we can live when we live like we are dying.
When we watched the Power of Words clip, we were reminded of the power of the tongue. We watched how a word spoken has the effect of a falling domino... good words have a positive domino effect while bad words have a negative domino effect. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21
The tongue is powerful thing... it is likened to a bridle a horses mouth or a rudder of a ship. It likened to a spark that ignites a forest fire.
The misspoken word has a life of its own. It does not die once it is out there…
In an interview with John Gibson (YouTube, Geraldine Ferraro: Obama’s winning because he’s not white, gibsonradio.com), Geraldine Ferraro said, “If Barrack Obama were a white man or if he were a woman, he would not be in the position he is in.” In other words, he is in the race because of his race. Her words did not die there on Gibson Radio. Once her words were out there and perceived by many as racist, they live on in the memories of people and on YouTube. She resigned from her position with the Clinton Campaign.
When Reverend Wright, in an inflammatory sermon said, “No, not God bless America, God damn America" [for the way America has treated black people] his words did not die there… his words live on in the memories of those who were offended and anyone who accesses YouTube, can hear the rant anytime they go online. Reverend Wright’s words forced him to leave the Obama Campaign. The tongue and the words it speaks, have the power of life and death.