Summary: The words we use in our conversation say a lot about our character. Jesus said, “For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.” Matthew 12:34b NLT

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Words that Hurt and Words that Heal

Matthew 12:33-37

James 3:1-12

Why is it that we have such a struggle with being totally open and honest? We tend to blend in with most Americans in telling little white lies and fibs.

Here are some well know fibs:

The check is in the mail.

I’ll start my diet tomorrow.

We service what we sell.

Give me your number and the doctor will call you right back.

Money cheerfully refunded.

This offer limited to the first 100 hundred people who call in.

Your luggage isn’t lost it is only misplaced.

This hurts me more than it hurts you.

I just need five minutes of your time.

Your table will be ready in a few minutes.

Open wide it won’t hurt a bit.

The New York Times stated the results of a survey that 91% of Americans confess they regularly don’t tell the truth. 20% admit they can get through a day without conscious, premeditated white lies.

The words we use in our conversation say a lot about our character. Jesus said, “For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.” Matthew 12:34b NLT

There are many words in scripture that carry a great message.

There’s an inevitable word, one that everyone faces – “Death.”

A word that is both sweet and bitter is “Memory.”

A word that is a great teacher is “Experience.”

A mysterious word is “Why.”

A sad word is “Sin.”

A word that opens heaven is “Repentance.”

A dangerous word is “Tomorrow.”

A favorite word of God is “Come.”

A hard word to say is “No.”

A word that never comes back is “Now.”

A beautiful word is “Forgiveness.”

Today I want to focus on the word, “Heart.” Jesus said out of the heart a person speaks words that hurt or words that heal.

I. Words can Hurt

Proverbs 6:16-19 – “There are six things the Lord hates – no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord among brothers.”

A person who gossips is a false witness who pours out lies and is a person who sows discord among brothers.” Proverbs 16:28, “A troublemaker stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.” (NLT) The King James Bible translates Proverbs 16:28 this way: “A forward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.”

The person who gossips doesn’t usually shout out his/her unkind words, but whispers the words that cut and hurt. A whisperer causes all kinds of hurt and heartache.

Gossip often takes the subtle approach.

“Have you heard…”?

“They tell me….”

“Do you think it could be true…?”

“Don’t tell anyone else, but ….?”

“This is off the record, but ,,,”

Gossip may take the form of false sympathy. “Isn’t it too bad how he beats his wife?”

Or a sly question: “Is it true that they are on the verge of a divorce?”

Gossip often starts from the heart of a person with an attitude of jealousy, revenge, or a grudge.

When you listen with interest and delight to someone who is gossiping you become a guilty as the person sharing the hurtful words.

Most of us tend to be tolerant of our own shortcomings, but very critical of the faults of others. Jesus warned us about judging someone who has a speck in his eye while we ignore the huge plank in our own eye. Matthew 7:3

People may be quick to say hurtful words about others because it serves their own pride. Hurting others may take some of the sting out of their own failures if they can rub off the glitter and joy other people possess.

James talks about taming the tongue. James 3:2,4-6 “We all make many mistakes, but those who control their tongues can also control themselves in every other way. And a tiny rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot wants it to go, even though the winds are strong. So also, the tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A tiny tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness that can ruin your whole life. It can turn the entire course of your life into a blazing flame of destruction, for it is set on fire by hell itself.”

In the movie, “Liar, Liar.” Jim Carey stars as a lawyer who is prone to lie. He made many promises to his son but continually lets him down. He promised to come to his son’s birthday party, but didn’t make it. His son is ready to blow out his birthday candles when he is reminded to make a wish. His wish? “Please make my dad tell the truth for a whole day.”

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Alden Dick

commented on Feb 27, 2009

An encouraging approach to a very discouraging dynamic in the Church.

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