Summary: The need is great for a practical demonstration of the Law of Kindness in the church.
THE LAW OF KINDNESS
Ephesians 4:31 – 32 Let all bitterness and all passionate feeling, all anger and loud insulting language, be unknown among you—and also every kind of malice. On the contrary learn to be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ has also forgiven you.
Proverbs 31:26 She opens her mouth with wisdom and on her tongue is the law of kindness.
Introduction: Do you remember the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”? The reality is sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will absolutely break the heart. Broken bones heal with time, but a broken spirit is not easily repaired. They can break the heart of a church, the heart of a brother or sister in Christ, the heart of a husband or wife, the heart of a child.
I. The Tongue is Dangerous Weapon
A. James 3:5 - 10 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.
B. All too often we find the tongue being used as not only a dangerous weapon but also a deadly weapon.
C. Think of the destruction that is caused by careless, callous, cynical, or malicious words. This is talk that brings division, discouragement, and demoralization.
D. 2 Corinthians 12:20 (NLT) For I am afraid that when I come to visit you I won’t like what I find, and then you won’t like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfishness, backstabbing, gossip, conceit, and disorderly behavior.
E. Gossip-negative talk, put-downs, rumors, accusations-not only hurts the person being talked about; it also hurts the person speaking and the person listening. One negative thought can kill dozens of positive ones. I cannot believe that people are so negative. Negativity breeds nothing but negativity.
F. Consider the impact of our words:
• In the church when someone says:
a. That program will never work – demotivation – a put down
b. If they want to do it that’s fine, but don’t expect me to participate – discouragement, quenching of the Spirit.
c. Why is he or she always asked to do things? - division and strife
d. I heard that… - devastation from unfounded accusations and rumor
e. It just burns me up that... – division selfishness
• In a marriage when one partner says:
a. That was a stupid thing to do.
b. idiot or jerk
c. He’s on a diet, his third this week.” – humiliation and embarrasses
d. A Husband says to his wife, “if you’d learn to cook like Sally we could have some great meals” – destroys self worth.