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Summary: You can train your tongue to work God’s way. Let’s look into the Word of God and see how.

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New Habits for a New Year

Part 3: Training Your Tongue to Work God’s Way

Ephesians 4:25-32

Sermon by Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church - Feb. 1, 2009

*Power Point Introduction:

SLIDE 1 (Phrases in sequence): “Got a problem with your tongue?” “You don’t think so?” “Are you sure?”

SLIDE 2 (Phrases in sequence): “It wasn’t me!” “That’s not mine.” “I’m going to be working late tonight.” “Did you hear about?” “Don’t repeat this, but.” “I probably shouldn’t say this, but.” “I’m feeling under the weather today so I won’t be in to work.” “I hate you!” “Shut up!” “Can’t you do anything right?” “The check’s in the mail.” “Don’t tell my mom.” “I can’t stand them.” “You idiot.”

SLIDE 3: “I don’t have a problem with my tongue.”

*But we do have problems with our tongues. We have all kinds of problems with our tongues, but Christians, we can do better. By God’s grace we can start new habits in our speech. You can train your tongue to work God’s way. Let’s look into the Word of God and see how.

1. First: Establish credibility with an honest tongue.

*God wants us to have honest tongues. We see this in vs. 25: “Therefore, putting away lying, each one speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.”

-Don’t lie. It’s one of the Ten Commandments.

-And it’s one of the first ones we break. “He hit me first!” “She started it!” “I didn’t break it.”

*Gary Huckaby tells about the time he caught his little girl, Nikki, eating jelly out of the jelly jar. She was about 3 or 4 years old at the time. And Dad asked her, “Nikki, are you eating out of the jelly jar?” “No sir,” she answered.

*“Are you sure you are not eating out of the jelly jar?” (Church, she had jelly all over her face, on her fingers, and in her hair!) -- But again she said, “No sir, I’m not eating jelly out of the jar.” (1)

*We learn to lie at a very young age. But it turns out that dishonesty is a very serious problem, and not just because it breaks one of the Ten Commandments. -Dishonesty is a serious problem, because all relationships are built on trust, and trust cannot be built on a lie. Therefore, (Christians) putting away lying, each one speak truth with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one Body. Establish credibility with an honest tongue.

2. And eliminate the trash.

*This is the 2nd thing to do: eliminate the trash talk. Take out the trash.

-As we see in vs. 29: “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” That word “corrupt” means worthless and rotten.

*Then, vs. 31 says, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.”

-The “evil speaking” there is where we get our word “blasphemy.”

-It’s evil speaking, slander, abusive language that hurts people and God.

*God says, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth.” “Let all evil speaking be put away from you.” Take out the trash -- like cussing. How long has it been since you said a cuss word?

*Preachers don’t hear a lot of cussing, because most people don’t cuss around the preacher. I don’t think I’ve heard more than 20 cuss words in the last 10 years, except on TV, of course. People just don’t cuss around the preacher.

*But sometimes Christians do fall into the bad habit of cussing. That’s a problem, because it masks who we are as believers. People need to see Christ in you the hope of glory, but they probably won’t, if you have a foul mouth.

*Well, you may not have cussed in 30 years, but what about gossip? Uh oh.

-Paul warned Timothy about some of the women who were in danger of gossiping. 1 Timothy 5:13 in the New Living Translation tells us, “They are likely to spend their time gossiping from house to house, getting into other people’s business and saying things they shouldn’t.”

*What about murmuring and complaining all the time? The Book of Jude warns about corrupt teachers who complained all the time.

-The Living Bible says:, “These men are constant gripers, never satisfied, doing whatever evil they feel like; they are loudmouthed “show-offs,” and when they show respect for others, it is only to get something from them in return.” (Jude 1:16)

*But God says, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth.” “Let all evil speaking be put away from you.” The idea is to pick it up and throw it away. Take out the trash. And Christian, if you need some help getting started, think back to the fact that people don’t cuss around the preacher.

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