Summary: Part two of this series focuses on who we speak words to (gossiping) and whom we allow to speak words into us - remembering that speaking life and death is not about being a Christian, but about the power of words.
That Is Why You Fail Part 2
This is part two of my series, “That Is Why You Fail.” If you recall from part one of this series, I shared with you that the words we speak share with others what is on the inside of us. I spoke to the fact that we speak life and death, belief and unbelief when we open our mouths. I illustrated this with the example from the movie, “The Empire Strikes Back” when Jedi Master Yoda told Luke Skywalker “Do or Do Not, there is no Try!” after Luke stated that he would try to raise his ship from the water. When Luke could not do it and confessed with his mouth what he believed in his heart – that it was impossible – Yoda did it. Luke stated that he didn’t believe it and that’s when Yoda said, “That Is Why You Fail.” I shared with you that we fail because of what we believe on the inside. We “try” to do things because we are not sure we “can” complete them. I asked each of you to spend that following week “not trying” but doing. Did you do it? Do you remember the story captured in the seventeenth chapter of Matthew? A man had brought his son to Jesus’ disciples because he had a demon. The disciples tried to cast the demonic spirit out but were not able. Let me read what is captured in verses 17-20 and I will be reading these from the King James Version of the Bible. “Then Jesus answered and said, ‘O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him hither to me.’ And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, ‘Why could not we cast him out?’ And Jesus said unto them, ‘Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (Matthew 17:17-20) What I want you to see is that Jesus did not mix words with them. They asked why they could not do it and He told them plainly that it was because of their unbelief. Notice that Jesus did not congratulate them or give them credit for trying! They did not believe in their hearts that they could do it and the demon knew they doubted and therefore would not leave. I ask you again, let’s stop trying and either do or do not! Remember, our mouths will speak what is in our hearts so when we say “I will try” what is in our hearts is a small slimmer of doubt that we will not be able to do it. Our words matter. If you simply say “I will do it” you will make the necessary steps to actually do it.
In part one I told you that words play three key roles in our lives: how we use them; who we use them with; and the third being who we allow to speak words into us. I previously focused on how we use words and how those words speak death and life into our situations. This morning I will focus on the last two: who we use these words with and who we allow to speak words into our lives.
II. With Whom We Share Words
One of the greatest cautions we should exercise is speaking to others. Why is so important? I shared with you what James said in James 3:5. He said, “So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!” Imagine if you will the number of “fires” that have been started by the tongue! Now I will admit that it is bad enough when we speak negativity to our own situations, but it is worse when we speak it to the situations of others. And, in my learned opinion, it’s even worse when we speak it of others’ situations that we are not involved in – a definition of gossip. How many times have we translated and spoken about someone’s situation without having hardly any of the facts? I am guilty of this and I am not proud of it.
Please note that the tongue can only start a fire when it is communicating with someone else? If you were talking to yourself nothings would get passed along to others so nothing is repeated. However, when we begin speaking to others about their situations, then our words take on a life of their own. If I stood before you and told you about someone being healed, you would rejoice and then leave the Church and possibly forget about it by Wednesday. However, if I stood before you and confess all of my past sins, some of you would keep it quiet and be glad I am who I am today. Some of you might potentially be so shocked about my past that you’d might feel obligated to get on the phone this afternoon sharing my “testimony” and asking others to pray for me even though I was speaking of my history, not my present. Are you seeing the picture? Once you shared it with others then of course those people would be “obligated” to share what God has done in my life with even more folks until what is being shared is so distorted from the truth people would wonder why anyone would choose to sit under my leadership. The tongue has the power to start a very large fire? We should use caution when we are talking to others because when we release something we can no longer control it. We cannot control how, when and with whom that information is shared. The best way to ensure that something is shared is to ask the person to keep it a secret. A good secret is too good to keep private! There are some people who can honor this request, many cannot. This is what God’s word says about this.