Sometimes we think it’s quite a trivial thing, but it’s not. We are surrounded by Facebook opportunities to pry into other peoples reality.
Cf Levenson enquiry – media stooped so low – why? Because we wanted to ‘read all about it.’ We think it’s ok to put it out there. What they said and did. And it’s in churches too.
It can make you feel awful. To have a confidence broken.
There are ‘prayer group gossipers.’ but you don’t need to know everything to pray about anything
Or we say something negative about someone – but finish it off with ‘bless them.’
Or the one who says ‘I’m just putting it out there’ – as if delivering a helpful truth, when in fact we are assassinating a character. The more quantity – the less its likely to be helpful.
These verses tell us of serious consequences! Are you a trustworthy friend or a perverse gossiper?
Let the fire go out – don’t put petrol on it!
Gossip is tasty! To be ‘in’ on something, to say your piece feels good.
But your tongue isn’t neutral. The Bible says it’s a sword that cuts deep. The tongue can be dangerous 18:21 – there is life and death in your mouth
And when the NT writers were starting the church they had to contend with this James 3:5-12
The Bible doesn’t point these out to make us feel bad, but to get better!
One tree can make 1000 matches
One match can burn down 1000 trees!
It says we can’t tame the tongue. We can’t do that. So is that it? Give up? No – Mt 12:34-35
What’s inside, comes out.
It’s not arbitrary or random
Your mouth is going to speak into life the things inside you.
Why can’t we just speak the good, positive, the best?
We think we’re realists when we say ‘but’
Why not believe the best
Speak the best?!
What hope is there?
The first speech in the Bible was God, speaking good, good, good into being!
It’s time we spoke out our dream, like MLK – before you see it, you’ll have to speak it.
We all mess up in this area, but we aren’t meant to be condemned by our words, but saved by his grace and transformed and shaped.
Let your tongue be a tree of life!
1) Ask God (have I got a problem with this?). He’s heard every word!
2) Ask for forgiveness. We are not under law!
3) Be accountable to others. Mt 5 – deal with it before it blocks your worship life.
4) Start speaking well. (If you haven’t got anything good to say…!). Speak out a word of encouragement! Speak life and healing! Phil 4:8