Family Bible Study lesson for April 17: Controlled Speech : Thursday, March 24, 2005
March 23 2005 by Phillip Hamm

Family Bible Study lesson for April 17: Controlled Speech : Thursday, March 24, 2005
Thursday, March 24, 2005

Family Bible Study lesson for April 17: Controlled Speech

By Phillip Hamm
Focal Passages: James 3:2b-12; 4:11-12; 5:12

The Potential of Danger of Speech

James 3:2-6

One of the first opportunities I had to preach was when I was about 17 years old. I had worked very hard preparing the message for our Wednesday night service. After I had preached my heart out, for a total of about 10 minutes, I offered the invitation. Shortly after the service a dear women, who obviously did not have the gift of encouragement, approached me and said: "Phillip, if you would have been the least bit interesting, I think people would have paid attention." Ouch!

But the words of "encouragement" only increased. On the next occasion that my brave pastor let me preach, another dear brother approached me and commented that he had just sat through "the worst sermon he had ever heard."

I really don't think either of these individuals ever meant to hurt me. Looking back they were probably true statements. Regardless, the words were painful.

All of us have been on the receiving end of some painful words. I would even guess that the most painful things that we remember from our past are likely hurtful words that somebody spoke. Yet why are we so likely to be hurtful ourselves? Is there any hope for controlling what we say?

Avoid Destructive Criticism

James 3:7-12

James admits in 3:7-8 that controlling the tongue is very difficult. He continues by pointing out how unfitting it is for a Christian to speak words that hurt while using the same mouth to bless God. So what is the solution?

James is right; no man is powerful enough to control the tongue, but our God is able. The only way to see God victorious over this point of weakness is to surrender daily this area of our life (Luke 9:23).

Tell the Truth

James 5:12

There will always be those dear brothers and sisters in Christ who use honesty as an excuse for hurtfulness. "No thank you, I didn't like the first serving you gave me." "A person your size really shouldn't wear pants like that."

James tells us in 5:12 to always be people of integrity with our words. This passage, however, does not give us the license to be hurtful. Instead, the passage gives us the command to be people of integrity. "Let your yes be yes, and your no be no" (James 5:12, NKJV).

So, how does real faith affect the way we speak?

Unfortunately having a real faith doesn't promise that we will never suffer from "foot and mouth" disease. We will suffer the embarrassment of saying things we never should. A real faith as described in scripture does, however, give us the ability to keep from having to remove our foot from our mouth quite as often.

3/23/2005 11:00:00 PM by Phillip Hamm | with 0 comments

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