Friday, April 29, 2011
A lying tongue
Jesus said that "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." (Mat. 12:34) He also said that what we put into our bodies does not defile it, but that which comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and it is that which defiles a man(Matt 15:18). What does that mean to us? It means that what is inside of us is evident by our words and actions. If our heart is filled with love, then our words will be filled with love. If our heart is filled with hate then our words will be filled with hate. Words have power. They have the ability to edify and the ability to destroy, the ability to lift up and the ability to cast down.
How are you using your words? Are you building up your neighbors? Or gossiping behind their back? We've all been guilty of gossip. Sometimes not even on purpose. We start talking and the story being told reminds us of another story we've heard, and before we even think about it we're telling that story. A story that we may never have verified, or probably never should have heard in the first place.
Proverbs 25:18 says, "A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow."
Often we dont think about our tongue as a weapon,and even when we do we only think of it as a weapon when someone is standing right there and we are giving them a tongue lashing. You see the tongue is a very deadly weapon. It can injure the heart. Break the determination of someone, or even bring them to sorrow and depression. It can hurt those right in front of us like a maul. Or it can hurt someone fruther away, like a sword in an arc. It can even injure someone who is far off, not even present at the time, but piercing them non the less like a stray arrow in flight. Each time we choose to say something about someone we either build them up, or tear them down. We as Christians should be ever weary about tearing someone down. We cannot draw people to Christ with anger and hate. When someone sees a group of Christians arguing over slight differences, the first thing they are going to do is say "I want nothing to do with that." I don't blame them. I've even been the one arguing before. How can we say God is love, if we ourselves do not show that love? We must show that love adn be that love in the world. Our kingdom is not of this world, but we are here in this world non theless. Just like a visitor in a foreign country, we are envoys sent by our King to spread His message. We should be showing the world how our King does things, and going out and being his arms and hands.
Ecclesiastes 5:2 says, "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."
Francis of Assisi said famously, "Preach at all times the gospel, when necessary use words." Our lives should be a lamp to the world, on top of a hill to illuminate the path to Christ. A person shouldn't have to ask you if you are Christian, every thing you say and do should point to the love of Christ. Even if you are just toiling away at work, do it as unto God. How much improvement would your job receive if you were working for God and He in the room? Even though you are working for someone else, you should be working for God. Every moment of everyday should be the gospel. We should be lifting up the world, and leading it to the Holy Spirit. A sign post in the desert where others can see the oasis in the distance.
James 1:19 warns us to be swift to HEAR and SLOW to speak. We need to each sit back at times and simply say nothing. Wait before you say it and consider if it's even worth saying. Will what you are about to say change the situation? Will it help the other person feel better? Am I simply saying it to make myself feel better at the expense of their emotions? Silence can be a powerful tool. In this age of digital communciation all to often we can send out a message of anger and emotional abuse before we even consider what we have written. The enter key should have a cool down timer, that you can't post or send another message until you have thought about it for 30 seconds, or even a few minutes. Each of us needs to develop that examination of conscience, to determine our motive behind the message we are about to send. Is it a message Christ would want us to send? Or simply something that our flesh is wanting to send.
And above all, I am not advocating that we be door mats. We are not here for people to wipe their feet on. We are here however to wash one anothers feet. Let us learn to be servants one to another, lifting each other up to the Lord, until every person is lifted up in His name.