Proverbs 18:21 The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
o We have the ability to speak life or to speak death into the people around us!
James 3:5-10 5In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. 7People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, 8but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. 9Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!
o Words are like toothpaste—once they’re out, there’s no getting them back in!
Proverbs 12:22 The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth.
John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
John 8:44 For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.
o He starts first by getting you to question God. Then he tells you God is a liar. Then he gets you to lie to others and yourself!
o The devil hates truth!
Proverbs 18:6-8 6Fools’ words get them into constant quarrels; they are asking for a beating. 7The mouths of fools are their ruin; they trap themselves with their lips. 8Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart.
Proverbs 16:28 A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.
Proverbs 26:20 Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.
Proverbs 12:18 Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.
o Critics speak death.
o Encouragers speak life.
o The problem is not whatever you complain about. It is the fact that we have taken our eyes off of the blessings God has given us.
o Thanksgiving is for us. It’s hard to be negative and thankful at the same time! The real problem with lying, gossiping, and criticizing is not our big, fat mouth—it’s our heart.
Luke 6:45 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.
1. Before you get out of bed in the morning, ask God to help guard your lips.
2. The next time you are dishonest, apologize to whomever you were dishonest to.
3. Ask someone who is gossiping why they are telling you what they are telling you.
4. For every criticism you give, say five encouraging things.
5. Try to keep a running list of everything you are thankful for.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION/DISCUSSION AT HOME AND IN YOUR LIFE GROUP
1. Revisit each of the Proverbs on this outline, then work as a group to summarize or restate them in your own words.
2. Share a personal story about a time when you experienced the power of words—when your tongue directed you where you didn’t want to go, destroyed like a wild fire, or displayed the overflow of your heart in a way that surprised you? What could/should you have done differently in that situation? What, if anything, did you do to try and make it right?
3. Matthew 15:18 says the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart. What do your words show you about your heart? What helps you be aware of how what you feed your heart (what you read, listen to, think about) impacts your words?
4. Walk back through the trio of Life Hacks and discuss together how they can help you better train your tongue and speak life. What’s one thing will you do this week to help train your tongue? Who will you ask to help encourage and keep you accountable?
5. What was for you in this message? What, from this message, is God pressing upon you to share with someone else?