Summary: The idiom of the Evil Tongue reminds us of the deadly nature of gossip!
1. Words are important.
A high School senior was asking his father's advice on how to woo the girl of his dreams. And his dad said "Well son, when you take her out for pizza tonight and you're sitting across the table from her, take her hand in yours gaze longingly into her eyes and softly say 'Wow, you have a face that would make time stand still.'"
That night, when the boy took the girl out to eat, he sat down across the table from her, took her hand in his, gazed into her eyes. But he was nervous. His hands were shaking and he couldn’t quite remember exactly what his father told him to say. Then suddenly he smiled and said "Whoa babe, you've got a face that would stop a clock."
Somehow I don’t think that line was going to work on her
He was trying to follow his father’s advice
He was trying to tell her “I love you.”
But that’s not what she’d heard.
2. We know words can be a blessing and a curse – Sticks & Stones – tell that to a child who just told she was stupid; to a teen who was mocked by his peers; a conscientious employee who was told they were inept by their employer.
a. Speak right
b. Avoid wrong
c. Idiom – Evil Tongue = Gossip
4. The Benefits of the Tongue
The story is told of a young lady who was eagerly awaiting the arrival of her boyfriend for their first date together. Although he wasn’t due to arrive for some time the doorbell rang while she was still fixing her hair.
Without thinking, she answered the door with her hair standing on end, no makeup, and wearing her favorite pajamas. When she opened the door she found herself standing face to face with her new date.
The surprise left her utterly embarrassed, but not defeated. She made the best of the situation by smiling and saying, “Well, what do you think?” her date grinned and said gently, “it looks like something beautiful is about to happen!” he obviously stole her heart that very moment.
There is another story about a time when a husband came home one afternoon and caught his wife with her hair up in huge curlers. He said to her, “what happened to your hair?” the wife replied, “I set it.” the husband jokingly replied, “if you set it, then when does it go off?”
Although both stories have a humorous side, only one qualifies as kind and gentle. We all know that words can devastate or delight. They can tear down or build up. Words can bring life and some can even kill.
I. When Speech Blesses
A. Praise to God –
John Wesley was about 21 years of age when he went to Oxford University. He came from a Christian home, and he was gifted with a keen mind and good looks. Yet in those days he was a bit snobbish and sarcastic.
One night, however, something happened that set in motion a change in Wesley’s heart. While speaking with a porter, he discovered that the poor fellow had only one coat and lived in such impoverished conditions that he didn’t even have a bed. Yet he was an unusually happy person, filled with gratitude to God.
Wesley, being immature, thoughtlessly joked about the man’s misfortunes. “And what else do you thank God for?” he said with a touch of sarcasm.
The porter smiled, and in the spirit of meekness replied with joy, “I thank Him that He has given me my life and being, a heart to love Him, and above all a constant desire to serve Him!” Deeply moved, Wesley recognized that this man knew the meaning of true thankfulness.
Many years later, in 1791, John Wesley lay on his deathbed at the age of 88. Those who gathered around him realized how well he had learned the lesson of praising God in every circumstance. Despite Wesley’s extreme weakness, he began singing the hymn, “I’ll Praise My Maker While I’ve Breath.”
1. Psalm 51:14-15 14Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
2. Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
3. Psalm 147:1 Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God;
for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.
B. Making Peace –
1. To end strife
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,