Titus 2:8 ...sound speech that cannot be condemned.. Col 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt,..
I Speech is a crucial element of our metamorphosis process
Eph 4:17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind … 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another. 26 "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
27nor give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.
II Our speech reflects who we are. We have to change our values in order to improve our speech.
Mat 12:33 "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. 34 "Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
III We can change our values by recognizing the consequences of our speech.
36 "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.
Pr 12:14: A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth (10:11,21,12:18,13:2,15:4,23,16:13,24,18:20-21,24:26)
Pr 18:7: A fool’s mouth is his destruction, And his lips are the snare of his soul. (10:13,14,31,12:13,19,22,13:5,18:6)
IV Things we should not do (Thing not to do; Reason we may do it; Lie we may believe)
Responding in anger; Our rights are violated; Failure to recognize God allowed it for our benefit. (Math 5: 21, James 1:19)
Swearing; Habit, want to fit in, expression of anger; Man's opinion of us is more important than Gods. (Deut 5:11, 2Tim 2:16)
Course jesting; Want to appear tough; Man's opinion of us is more important than Gods. (Eph 5:3-4)
Lying; Take shortcut towards things we want, protect our own reputation; God will not give us what is best when it’s best, God did not see it. Others will not find out. (Deu 5:20, Pr 4:24)
Striving; We don't get things our way; I know better what is good for me than anyone else (including God). (2Tim 2:14)
Boasting; We have a low self-esteem; God and man will think more of me if I tell them how good I am. (Pr 27:1-2)
Speaking too much; Self-centered view of the world; Life is all about me. I know better, I don't need to listen. (Pr 10:19,13:3)
Speaking too quickly; Want to control the outcome, want to appear witty or smart; If I don't take charge, things go wrong, Man's opinion of us is more important than Gods. (Pr 18:13)
Flattering; We want people to like us; Man's opinion of us is more important than Gods.(Pr 26:28, Job 32:21-22)
Revealing secrets; Need for significance or attention; We are insignificant, we need attention from people, others will keep it secret. (Pr 11:13, 16:28, 18:8, 20:19)
Promising too quickly; Want to be liked or esteemed; Man's opinion of us is more important than Gods. (Pr 6:1)
IV Things we should do instead (Thing to do; Reason we may not do it; Lie we may believe)
Rebuke; Do not want to cause tension; Our temporal comfort is more important than someone else's growth. (Pr 25:12)
Comfort; Are not aware of need or pain due to self-centeredness, do not know what to say; Other people are not my concern, other people are ok. Better to say nothing than say something that is not perfect. (1Th 4:18, Ga 6:2)
Be sensitive; Have not developed other-centeredness; We do not really have to love our neighbor as ourselves. (Pr 25:20,27:14)
Encourage; Believe that others are fine without it. Lack of worth and value; People don't need it, I can’t give it. (Heb 3:13)
Teach; Afraid of teaching the wrong things, it takes a lot of effort; I don't know much truth. (Mat 28:18-20, 2Ti 2:2, Jam 3:1)
Edify; Believe that others are fine without it, afraid it won’t be good enough; People don't need it, I can’t give it. (1Th 5:11)
Ask; Do not want to leave our comfort zone, don’t believe it will make a difference, pride and independence; Our temporal comfort is more important than God's will, God does not listen to me, I can do this without asking help. (Mat 7:7-11, Jn 15:5)
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
- Do you struggle more with doing things you should not do, or with not doing things you should do? Why?
- From each group, pick one or two items that you know you need to work on. Ask yourself why you are (not) doing them, and what the lie is that you may believe in this area. What can you do to change?
- Ask someone close (family member, room-mate, accountability partner) what they think you struggle most with and why.
- What are some temporal and what are some eternal consequences of unsound speech?
- What can you do this week to make positive changes in the area of speech?