Hey BCU family!
As usual, please enjoy the audio podcast (click on the icon below), the written transcript, or both! In either case, God bless you as you read, hear and apply the Word of God.
“For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.”
(James 3:2-12) .
Whew—-we’ve got work to do! Let’s dig in!
C. The non-listener/hasty speaker
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath. For the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God (James 1:19-20).
He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding, but he that is hasty of spirit exalts folly. (Proverbs 14:29).
See a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope of a fool than of him. (Proverbs 29:20).
He that answers a matter before he hears it it is folly and a shame to him (Proverbs 18:13).
The Lord has brought this to my attention both as the offender and the offended. I probably notice it more as I was offended a couple of times recently and I liked that as much as I like a big ol’ plate of canned beets. Meaning I DON’T!
After setting up a meeting with someone to get clearance for a special task, I wanted to give them the background, so it was clear WHY I needed the clearance. I am ALL about making sure you understand, so nothing comes back to get me later. In mid-explanation, the individuals CUTS me off and gives me a some solution to the clearance—I listened quietly, and heard them say something like, “is that what you were leading up to?” Me: “No”. Reread Proverbs 29:20.
Also, I had conversation with someone, where we disagreed on the conclusion of whatever we were talking about. Every time I wanted to explain why, I got CUT off. I finally just shut down—and listened. Then person was curious about my quietness.
There is also cutting into a conversation, while someone is talking and switching the subject—like the shell game! LOLOLOL!! I’m laughing but it’s really not of God. And I KNOW that I’ve done this to people–maybe out of excitement or wanting to get the point in while it was fresh or whatever, but what did my action do to the speaker? How did I make them feel? Like I was listening or just waiting for them to hush so I can talk?
All this really is birthed out of the pride of life—where self-exaltation and exaggerated importance tells you that the people/persons that are currently speaking DO NOT MATTER. What you have to say right then and there trumps the other person because you KNOW better, you HAVE the answer (you were not asked yet), you ARE superior, YOU HAVE lived longer than said individual, I DON’T have to listen to this; I WANT to end the conversation; I HAVE BETTER things to do; SHE takes TOO long expressing herself. I KNOW exactly what you want to say. DO YOU? No.
#BottomLine: Use your ears twice as much as your mouth.
D. Excess wording
“Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”
While many of us know not to use swear words (believers DO NOT practice using foul language), what about the “swear substitutes?” “What the…” “Oh my gosh” (substitute for God) or “jeez” (short for Jesus). Sure, we’re not taking the Lord’s name in vain…well directly, more like indirectly.. God knows our hearts, yes, but since He reminds us we have to give an account for our excess words, we should reconsider what we’re saying.
What’s the need to”swear to our God”, on your grandmother’s grave or say some other ridiculous claim to get someone to believe you are telling the truth? Is not our word enough, especially if we are truthful all the time. When telling your story, stick with the yay and nay (the truth of the story) without extra details and embellishments so we can stay away from anything evil coming out.
E. Empty promises/promising to do something when you can’t.
“Knocking someone into next week/kingdom come.”
“If….. happens, I’ll eat my hat”.
“Shake her hand till it comes off.”
Now I know these phrases sound very innocent and harmless. Think about it, though. If you really wouldn’t eat your hat, you’re not telling the truth. We can’t really knock someone into next week or any other week, either. You know, God never said anything He could not do, so we need to stop practicing this form of idle chatter.
F. Hasty, emotional responses:
“Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few (Ecclesiastes 5:2).
“If God never answered another prayer….” do you really mean that? What if God took you seriously?
“I promise I will never ask for…” or “God if you do..I will..” Do we need to “bribe” God? Ask, and it shall be given, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened. Whoever asks, gets, seeks, finds, knocks, it shall be opened. If it’s according to God’s will, you will get it..He likes to give good gifts.
“As long as I have Jesus I don’t need nobody else?” Really? Does not God work through people? Are we not called to love and interact with people? No…we don’t worship them, but we need one another. An example? One plants, one waters and God gives the increase. (I Corinthians 3:7). We need people.
Also, should we really bargain with God? Ecclesiastes 5: 4-6 warns us not to.
When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?
Jephthah in Judges 19 learned this lesson painfully. He vowed if he was victorious in battle, he would sacrifice the first thing that came out of the house and it happened to be his only daughter.
#BottomLine– even in our anger and excitement, we can still honor God with how we speak. We need to choose our words carefully.
So once again this week, let’s ask the Lord to help us to “weed out” these types of idle words from our hearts, mouths and vocabulary and replace that idling with more of the Word of God. We can do all of these things through Christ that strengthens us!
Thank you so much for tuning, God bless you, keep you, make His face to shine upon you and until we meet again #StayOnTheWall!