Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Live Faithfully - Week Seven

Loose Lips Sink Ships
James 3:1-12

Highlights from this week:
  • A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. -Henry Adams
  • a tongue controlled by God will spread the good news wherever it goes
  • the difference between a wise person and a foolish one is his speech
  • when controlled by strong hands and good hearts, the tongue guides us to desired destinations
  • our past, present, and future can be destroyed by a slip of the tongue
  • if your spiritual life is dry, perhaps you have neglected your water source
  • iniquity suggests different types of evil 
  • angry accusations, contentious comments, or Godless gossip can burn others, leaving lives in ruin
  • remember those that heat things up verbally are playing with hellfire
  • hateful words can backfire on us, hurting us as much as those we have attacked
  • we can't control our tongues, but God can if we give Him the keys
  • a curse is a prayer for evil or misfortune for others
  • p. 176 - "without fresh water, there can be no life.  97% of the Earth's water is salty, making it unusable for drinking or farming.  Only 3% is fresh water.  How does your speech compare to those statistics?  Mostly bitter and only a little bit refreshing?"
This week about taming the tongue probably didn't sit well with a lot of us.  Our mouth gets us in trouble more often than anything else about us I think.  This direct quote from page 172 sums it up very well.
Symptoms of gossip poisoning:

  1. Dislike: developing bitterness even though the person involved did not directly offend you.
  2. Disapproval: criticizing those involved; acting as the judge in the matter while recruiting others to "your side".
  3. DIstortion: searching out more gossip and using it to give the worst possible impression of others or to make yourself look spiritual.
  4. Deception: believing that such actions are actually accomplishing God's will and using prayer to spread rumors further.
Antidotes to gossip poisoning:

  1. Repentance: ask God to cleanse your mind and to forgive you for poisoning others with gossip; 1 John 1:9
  2. Restoration: pray for genuine love for everyone involved; if you've sinned against someone make it right; Matthew 5:23-24
  3. Renewal: be transformed by renewing your mind with truth instead of lies; God's word is the antidote of the soul; John 15:3 

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