On June 12th, 19th, and 26th I will teach our church about Trash Talk. We will study from the Book of James about the power of our words. I hope you will make it a priority to be in church to hear these powerful truths. If you miss any of the messages, you can listen to them on our website at www.avalonchurch.net.
Terrorism has captured the attention of the world in recent years. It certainly is front and center in the presidential race. The rancor and rhetoric are off the charts! While radical Islamic terrorism is a huge problem facing the world today, I consider it to be, at most, the second biggest problem. The greatest is the need for every human on the planet to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. Everything after that is second by a wide margin. The gospel of Christ is the ONLY solution to our problems.
While many Christians speak loudly about terrorism (and rightly so) they fail to look in the mirror and recognize their own brand of terrorism – blowing up the world around them with their tongue. With all due respect to the victims of terrorism in the USA and around the world, I hope you will ponder the analogy. Some Christians are very good at pointing out the sins of others while failing to hold up the mirror to their own lives. Certainly not all, but in our culture driven by social media and the latest juicy tidbits, far too many are guilty.
James 1:26 states, “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” The concept of a worthless religion means that it is not genuine. It is deceptive and hypocritical, and thus in vain. The point is that we can damage the effect of the gospel with the things we say. Our words can contradict our beliefs.
According to Solomon, reckless talk creates chaos. “Irresponsible talk makes a real mess of things…” (Proverbs 13:17) This is true in marriage, with your children, with your friends, and with your work. If I am irresponsible with my words, then I basically throw a grenade in the middle of all my environments.
What’s more, God says that he despises gossip, sowing discord, and creating divisions among the people we are supposed to love and serve.
Proverbs 6:16-19 “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”
Psalm 101:5 “Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy…”
How Do We Talk Trash?
· Gossip – Few things are more irresponsible than gossip. You can try to couch it in “concern” but gossip destroys relationships. Gossip is rooted in pride and insecurity and is the total opposite of love. People often gossip because they want to hear salacious details about someone else. Sometimes they gossip because they want to feel better about themselves or more superior to someone else. Most of the time gossip is simply designed to hurt the other person.
· Hurtful words – We often speak words that are meant to cut and hurt. Sometimes this comes from a bitter spirit and other times it comes from our own hurts and hang-ups. Sarcasm can be skillfully used for good sometimes between people. Most of the time, however, it is simply meant to hurt. The Bible tells us that our words should build each other up.
· Words spoken in anger – Many times we hurt the people closest to us by bursting out in anger. Guard your heart and your words so that you do not lose control and damage those you love with your angry words. Something that is spoken in anger can be forgiven, but it takes a long time for that wound to heal.
· Lying – Lying is perhaps the most irresponsible of all the words we speak. The Bible says to speak the truth in love.
· Unguarded words – These are words that are sexually inappropriate. They are not always bad or suggestive words, but words that open up the possibility for an affair. Be careful how you speak to someone you are not married to. Guard your words and guard your heart so you do not have an affair.
· Unforgiving words – We must always remember that no matter how we have been wronged, it is nothing compared to how we have sinned against God. Do not speak unforgiving words, but say, “I forgive you.”
Have you been guilty of trash talk? The good news is that we have forgiveness and restoration available through Jesus Christ. Because of God’s grace, I can use words of healing and restoration.
Don’t miss Trash Talk at Avalon Church!