Matt got mad at his best friend Chris because Chris sat next to Matt’s ex-girlfriend at lunch. Matt used some colorful language to describe what kind of friend he thought Chris was. Chris shouted a few choice words back to Matt before storming off. Later Matt realized that since he did not really like that girl anymore anyway, he was being unfair to Chris. Matt regretted his harsh words. What should Matt do?
Tonya has strong opinions about everything. She also has a hard time keeping her opinions to herself. She has lost a number of good friends over the years because of her inability to keep her thoughts to herself. As she approaches her senior year of high school, she feels lonely because she does no longer has any close friends. What should Tonya do to have a better senior year?
Our Culture’s Story:We live in a culture in which many television shows and movies use curse words in casual ways. It seems that even the worst swear words are now commonplace in our society. People feel comfortable writing things on someone else’s Facebook page that they would not be willing to say it to their face. Numerous polls reveal that people are much ruder now than they used to be.
The Power of Words:• Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can hurt us even more.
• We really DO CARE what other people say to us or about us, even if we pretend we do not.
• Most of us can think of at least one thing a person said to us more than two years ago that still hurts.
Those of us who are Christians should be careful about what we say because God expects us to use our words to help instead of hurt.
Proverbs 13:3 - The one who guards his mouth protects his life; the one who opens his lips invites his own ruin.• What does it mean to guard our mouth?
• A guard is someone who watches over something to make sure nothing bad happens. Therefore, guarding our mouth means watching what we say so that nothing bad happens due to our words.
• Why does the verse say that the person who guards their mouth will protect their life?
• Though it is possible to make someone so mad at us by what we say that they may kill us, this is more likely referring to our quality of life.
• When people go through friends quickly, it is usually because people cannot stand what they say. Maybe they talk about themselves all the time. Maybe they are a liar. Maybe they talk mean to their friends. Maybe they just talk non-stop and it is too exhausting to be around them. In any case, a person who does not guard their tongue will have a less fulfilling life than the person who does.
• What does it mean that people who talk too much invite their own ruin?
• Though no one is perfect, the more we say, the more likely we will eventually say something we should not say.
• That does not mean that we have to remain quiet all the time, but it does mean that we might want to gauge how much we are talking in comparison to those around us. If we are dominating every conversation, then we are more likely to say something that is going to ruin a friendship or cause pain to ourselves or others. There is a time to talk and there is a time to listen. Part of growing up is learning the difference between those two times.
James 3:5 - Though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how large a forest a small fire ignites.• The average human tongue is 4 inches long.
• The average human tongue weighs only 2 ½ ounces.
• The human tongue has 8 muscles in it.
• Yet, this small part of the body gets us in a lot of trouble.
• Our whole lives can be set on fire by our tongue.
2 Timothy 2:16 - But avoid irreverent, empty speech, for this will produce an even greater measure of godlessness.
• One way to control our tongue is to avoid irreverent speech.
• What is irreverent speech?
• The word reverent means respecting a person or a place and often is connected with something considered sacred such as God or the church.
• Therefore, irreverent words would be those that disrespect a person or place, especially things connected to God.
• Another way to control our tongue is to avoid empty speech. Empty speech refers to words that have no purpose other than to hear ourselves talk.
• Some people feel awkward if there is a silent moment, so they say the first thing that comes to mind, which often the wrong thing to do is.
• Other people are just so self-centered; they must fill every quiet moment talking about themselves. This is exhausting for the people listening and often results in a loss of friends.
• If we can learn to control these two kinds of speech, we can avoid a lot of mess in our lives.
• The opposite is also true, if we fail to avoid these two kinds of speech, we will have a bigger mess to deal with later.
• Words can hurt whether spoken or printed in a text or Facebook post.
• As Christians, we have are responsible to guard our words so they do not hurt others.
• When we fail to guard our words, it lowers our quality of life and creates bigger issues to deal with later.