You Aren’t From Around Here Are You?

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Ephesians 4:29 ESV  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

I was watching a show on Amazon Video the other day that was filmed in a small town in Kentucky. In the series, the people on the show were portraying Kentucky mountain folks.  The southern accent was very prominent, and actually pretty accurate of the south.  In one of the series there was a man from up north that came into town on business with the locals, both bad guys.  I had to laugh as I watched this episode.   In the first series the northerner starred in, he would say over and over again how he could not understand the local man.  In the second series he starred in, the northerner said he needed google translate to help him understand what the local man was saying.

It reminded me of how we should speak as Christians.  Our language should change after we are saved.  People who are not saved should not understand what we say because we don’t talk like them.  John 8:47 says “Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”  Non-Christians may not understand the things of God but that doesn’t mean we should not talk about God.  We should talk about Him so much that they want to know what we are saying.  In the show, even though the man did not understand what the locals were saying, he really wanted to understand them.  His frustration made him work harder to figure out what they were saying.

When we are Christians the way we talk to others is different.  Those who are not saved may not understand the way we talk to each other.  Colossians 4:6 ESV Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.  We should not loose our cool with other people, christian or not.

Matthew 15:11 ESV says “It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”  What words are coming out of your  mouth?  I heard a sermon by Joel Osteen and he was talking about the different sins people struggled with.  He specifically mentioned people in his life who struggled with swearing.  I hear so many christians swearing.  I have watched the faces of lost people when they hear a christian swear.  It is a look of confusion.  Even they do not understand how a christian can so freely swear.  

Ephesians 5:4 ESV says “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”  The bible is full of scripture that tells us how we should talk once we become saved.  Maybe you don’t know “churchy talk” but we all need to learn God talk.  How do we do that?  By reading His read.  Churchy talk is man talk.  God talk is His language and there are blessings for His children who use God talk.

I am not sure if there is google translate for the bible, however there are many tools available to you to make reading the bible easier.  There are many different versions of the bible.  Check them out online before you buy one.  Here are a few online resources where you can read a verse in many different versions.  If you keep going to a particular version then maybe that is the one you should buy.

http://biblehub.com/

https://www.biblestudytools.com/

https://www.bible.com/

https://www.youversion.com/

Each of these sites also have a commentaries by several people.  If you read something and you don’t understand it, no matter which version you read, then you can read the commentary, which explains the text you just read.

In Joels sermon he stated that we all deal with our own sin.  For him, it was impatience while for someone else it was their words, swearing.  This isn’t a devotional to make you feel bad about swearing.  The bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”  Maybe you are saying that you can’t change your language.  Those old ways just won’t go away so how do you change?  Philippians 4:13  (GW) I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.  With God’s help thats how.  YOU CAN DO.  Don’t stop trying.

Just in case no one has told you this today….God loves you, wherever you are in your walk with Him!

Words Are Powerful

Proverbs 18:21 (NIV) says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Words are extremely powerful. Gossip is destructive and it hurts. Hateful words travel to the heart and pierce the soul. Sometimes it hits the brain like shrapnel and can take a lifetime to dislodge. I know firsthand how hurtful gossip can be, how fast gossip travels and how it can destroy one’s self-confidence. I have been the target—by both family and those I’ve held in the high esteem of ‘friend.’

When I was young my mother would say, “If you can’t say nothing good about a person then you should say nothing at all”. I think women are more guilty of gossip than men, however some men like juicy gossip as much as the next woman. I saw a sign once that read, “No Gossiping Allowed. If You Want to Talk About Someone, Talk About Jesus.” Ask yourself, “What good may come of what I am about to say?” If the answer is ‘nothing,’ it probably shouldn’t be said.

As Christians, we have a responsibility to build each other up not tear each other down. Ephesians 4:29: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” I think it is more hurtful to have someone who worships the same God as you do hurting another sister or brother in Christ with words and actions than someone who is lost.

Instead of surrounding yourself with people who talk about others and other people’s business, surround yourself with those who talk about ideas and who are interested in solving problems. Ignite rich conversations that illuminate and enlighten rather than tear people down. My mother also said “Any dog that brings a bone, will carry one. ” So be clear that anyone who is gossiping to you is also gossiping about you. Proverbs 20:19 ESV tells us to stay away from someone who is a gossip “Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.”

The Bible teaches us that we are accountable for every single word that comes out of our mouths! Matthew 12:36-37 (NIV) “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words, you will be condemned.”

If you are one who gossips you should stop it. God is listening and he does not approve of your speech. Titus 3:2 says, “To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” Proverbs 16:28 ESV says “A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.” Gossip causes strife and separates people. Even if what you are saying is true. Stop justifying why you are talking about someone else negatively. It is wrong no matter how you try to justify it to yourself.

The next time you begin to speak someone’s name, ask yourself if what you are going to say after their name is building that person up or not. No in-between answer. It is either yes or no. If no, STOP and don’t say it. Instead, ask the Lord to remove the gossip from your mind and your speech. James 3:8 says “Yet, no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil filled with deadly poison.” Gossip is something that the flesh can not control alone. We MUST rely on God to help us tame our tongue.

If you listening to gossip, stop it. Proverbs 26:20 “For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.” If you listen to it then it keeps the fire (gossip burning) If you stop listening, then the fire will go out. Proverbs 26:22 says, “The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body. It may feel good to listen and be in the know, but sin often feels good, when it is actually bad.

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Maybe this scripture speaks to where you are right now. Psalm 109:2 “For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me, speaking against me with lying tongues.” So how can you be encouraged? I love Spurgeon’s metaphor: “A great lie, if unnoticed, is like a big fish out of the water—it dashes and plunges and beats itself to death in a short time.” When (not if) your reputation suffers an undeserved injury, your quiet integrity over time will say all that needs to be said. Pray for the one talking about you and choose to forgive them.

I will close with this wise quote by George Whitefield:

Let the name of Whitefield perish, but Christ be glorified. Let my name die everywhere, let even my friends forget me if by that means the cause of the blessed Jesus may be promoted. . . . I am content to wait till the judgment day for the clearing up of my reputation; and after I am dead I desire no other epitaph than this, “Here lies G. W. What sort of man he was the great day will discover.”

Amen. May the Lord who sees and judges everything give us such a spirit.

Intervention

Ephesians 4: 29 (NIV) Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Have you ever or are you now the topic of someone else’s conversation in a negative way? Have you ever or are you currently dealing with someone who is trying to ruin your reputation or cause others not to associate with you? How many are dealing with someone at work who may be trying to lie or black ball you, cause drama or even get you in trouble with the boss? Here is the kicker question…Is the person doing this a Christian?

Well obviously, this has been an issue for hundreds of years , since Paul was addressing it, I am sure it will continue for hundreds of years to come. I know, that doesn’t make it right just because it happens. It is probably more confusing when the other person is a christian.

Today I want to encourage you to stop unwholesome talk if you are doing it at church, at home or at work. Have you ever heard the saying “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”. Short sweet and to the point. To me it seems so simple to say but hard to do. As christians we should remind ourselves of this saying often. The book of James in the Bible says the tongue is hard to control.

I think each of us has been on both sides of the isle on this topic, whether in the past or maybe right now. Following God and his instructions for life’s situations is not always easy. It can be difficult to live as Christ has as ask us to do, however it is possible with prayer and God’s help.

Whether you are on the receiving or giving end of unwholesome talk I encourage you to read a few of the following verses, verses 30-32 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Last night I was scanning TV shows and somehow I landed on a program about an addict and his family. This man had been addicted to alcohol and drugs for over 4 years. HIs family had tried many ways and many times to help him with no success. They called in an outside source who led them through an intervention process. He did not do the intervention himself, however he was there to train and encourage the family on how to get the man to ask for help on his own, not to force him into treatment. During the intervention the instructor did nothing. He sat silently in the room and watched as the family members did exactly what he had taught them to do. The man stomped, yelled, cursed and even ran away. The family felt defeated and helpless. Within about 15 minutes he called his wife and said he wanted to get help. In the end, he was able to beat the drugs/alcohol and has been clean now for over 3 years.

God gives us instructions on how to handle this situation and He is the one sitting back quietly overseeing the intervention process. All we have to do is follow His instructions. Like the family, we have to trust God, be patient as He works on the other person and wait for the promised results. God wants us to live peaceably with other men, he says so in His word. Whether we are on the receiving or giving end of the unwholesome talk we need to go to God. We should always remember that others are watching us and listening to us. Why would someone want to be a part of any family that destroys its own family?

Ask God to come intervene today. Regardless of whether you are dishing it our taking it, God can help. It’s time for an INTERVENTION! You got it! Lets do this!

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