Thursday, May 28, 2009

Too Many Words!

You can walk by a well kept garden, and tell EXACTLY which seeds were planted by what is blooming there. You can also tell the ugly weeds that just drifted in, which, if allowed to grow long enough, will choke out the beauty of the well-kept garden. Yes, words that we spoke yesterday make life what it is today!!! Mark 11.23 says “He shall have those things that he sayeth.” The things you say are words. In face you could paraphrase it that you will possess the things you speak.

Words, words, words. Researchers’ estimates of how many words we speak per day range from 50,000 to 2,500, with the average estimate being approximately 15,000 words per day. Just listening to the words that people are speaking this week is compelling me to write about it. People are DEFEATING their purposes, plans and pursuits by the WORDS they are speaking!

The Bible tells us that in Matthew 12.36-37 tells us that we will give account of every idle or useless word we speak, and that by our words we shall be justified (shown innocent), or by our words we shall be condemned (pronounced guilty).

Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose. (Proverbs 18.21 Message) Words can make or break us, heal us or make us sick. They can break others to pieces (Job 19.2). They have creative power (Romans 4.17 - Abraham was first named “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing.)

Words make an atmosphere. They bless or heal, they empower, they cut down and curse. A soft word can turn away wrath, and grievous words can agitate anger (Proverbs 15.1).

Words can be wood to a fire or even a destroying fire (Proverbs 26.20, 16.27, James 3.5-6) or a fire extinguisher (Proverbs 15.1, Proverbs 26.20).

When there is strife between a husband and wife, the husband will often “clam up” but the wife will seek someone to “understand her” – whether a friend, her sisters, or her mom. In her efforts to “be understood,” she runs slipshod over the warnings in Scripture and shares her viewpoint of one transgression after another. In doing so, it makes the problem magnified, and covers up the answer to how to FIX the problem. Not only that, she poisons the reputation of her husband with the people she loves who, if THEY are not careful, take up her “side” – which in a marriage is dividing a house against a house (the two HAVE become ONE and can never exist independently of one another again).

In marriage counseling, I have not allowed couples to give me “blow by blow” details. It is not necessary to know exactly what was said and how it was said, because I realize that most often an action on the part of one person has caused a reaction from the other person.

A word of wisdom to husbands: My husband just told me YESTERDAY that he heard that the biggest problem in Christian marriages today is the lack of spiritual headship of the men. Step it up men! Be an example of Christ in your home!

A word of wisdom to wives: Don’t get caught up in the “blame game” or the “I need someone to understand me” game and keep heaping wood on a fire. Be VERY CAREFUL of who you share your troubles with – make sure they are committed to the success of your marriage and that they will seek to help you understand what YOU can do better to change things and not get caught up in the “blame game” WITH you! The ONLY reason you should be sharing information with ANY person should be to help you achieve the ONE-NESS in your marriage that God wants you to have – it should be a trusted counselor who can help you to understand how to e successful in marriage, which is a definite work of HEART!

A word of wisdom to who is involved in hearing marriage problems: Be sure you are committed to the success of the marriage. Be sure that you don’t “take sides,” and that you are an instrument of the Lord to help someone love God’s way. Be sure that you don’t allow self-righteousness or allow someone to share information you should NOT be hearing. Be sure YOU don’t contribute to the problems; but the ANSWER!

CHALLENGE: Look at the WORDS you are speaking today and be SURE you want to live in the HARVEST of those words in your future! Be wise and SOW SEEDS for a victorious marriage and life! Know that the Lord HAS given you the POWER – but YOU need to take it!


Proverbs 6:16-19 There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 1.Haughty eyes, 2. a lying tongue, And 3. hands that shed innocent blood, 4. A heart that devises wicked plans, 5. Feet that run rapidly to evil, 6. A false witness who utters lies, And 7. one who spreads strife among brothers. (Notice that the one who spreads strife is different than a false witness who is a liar.The following verses will reveal how such things as GOSSIP and SLANDER "spread strife among brothers." )

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.(Forgiven transgressions are to be covered.)

Proverbs 11:12-13 He who despises his neighbor lacks sense, But a man of understanding keeps silent. He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is trustworthy conceals a matter. (The talebearer reveals secrets, not lies; the trustworthy person conceals the matter.)

Proverbs 12:16, 23 A fool’s anger is known at once, But a prudent man conceals dishonor. A prudent man conceals knowledge, But the heart of fools proclaims folly. (A prudent man conceals dishonor and knowledge.)

Proverbs 13:3 The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

Proverbs 16:27-28 A worthless man digs up evil, While his words are like scorching fire. A perverse man spreads strife, And a slanderer separates intimate friends. (A slanderer is worthless and perverse -- spreading strife.)

Proverbs 17:9 He who conceals a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends. (Seek love, not strife.)

Proverbs 19:11 A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression. (A man’s discretion is honored when he graciously overlooks a transgression.)

Proverbs 19:28 A rascally witness makes a mockery of justice, And the mouth of the wicked spreads iniquity. (The men who charged the woman “caught” in adultery, John 8:1-11.)

Proverbs 20:19 He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, Therefore do not associate with a gossip. (A slanderer is a gossip, not a liar; he wrongfully exposes hidden truth.)

Proverbs 21:23 He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles. (Here, and at the Judgment Seat.)

Proverbs 25:9-10, 23 Argue your case with your neighbor, And do not reveal the secret of another,Or he who hears it will reproach you, And the evil report about you will not pass away. The north wind brings forth rain, And a backbiting tongue, an angry countenance. (Backbiting is revealing the secrets of another, causing strife.)

Proverbs 26:20-28 For lack of wood the fire goes out, And where there is no whisperer, contention quiets down.
21 Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, So is a contentious man to kindle strife.
22 The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels, And they go down into the innermost parts of the body.
23 Like an earthen vessel overlaid with silver dross Are burning lips and a wicked heart.
24 He who hates disguises it with his lips, But he lays up deceit in his heart.
25 When he speaks graciously, do not believe him, For there are seven abominations in his heart.
26 Though his hatred covers itself with guile, His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly. (The whisperer is not necessarily a liar, except about himself, vs. 24-26.)


Matthew 15:19 “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. (Here Jesus shows, as in the Old Testament, that slander is different than lying.)

Romans 1:29-30 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips[whisperers], slanderers[speaks against], haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, (Again, the Holy Spirit , through the apostle Paul, shows that deceit differs from gossip or slander.)

2 Corinthians 12:20 For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there will be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders [speak against], gossip [whisperer], arrogance, disturbances; (Paul was concerned that the saints were involved in these sins.)

1 Timothy 5:13 At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips [whisperers] and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention. (The gossips were not lying, but talking about things that were not proper to even mention.)


The above verses teach that GOSSIPS, SLANDERERS,WHISPERERS, etc., are words used to describe those who spread true information about a person, but the information concerns "things not proper to mention." We saw that these "things" could include "a transgression," "evil," "dishonor," "a matter," the "secrets of another," or "knowledge," and generally focus in on the past sins, mistakes, and failures of that person.


The arrogant and unforgiving attitude of our sin nature makes us ALL susceptible to getting involved in this abominable sin of gossip. In our selfishness, we feel better about ourselves when we can point to another person's failures.We saw that those that practice the sin of gossip are referred to as "worthless, perverse, wicked, hateful, fools."


The Bible makes it very clear that just because we may have some true information, we do not have the right to share that information, especially when that information is damaging to an individual. Even when a Christian is in sin, it is to be kept quiet, private, and should be dealt with on a person-to-person basis, as follows::

Matthew 18:15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to
you, you have won your brother.

You go to your brother "in private." If "you have won your brother," the story stops there! If he continues in sin, then you go back with no more than two brothers, as follows:

Matthew 18:16 “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that
by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.

If you win your brother with two more witnesses, the story stops there. If he won't listen, proceed as follows::

Matthew 18:17 “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to
listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

If your brother is won by the church, THE STORY STOPS THERE! If he continues in sin, he is to be put out of the church, and yes, you can tell others to perhaps warn them. But telling everyone about a sinning brother could be very damaging to the cause of Christ and the gospel. Does it really do any good to spread other people's failures when we all fail the Lord so many times? Remember, GOSSIP sows strife among the brothers, it's an ABOMINATION!

If someone comes to you and seems to be "GOSSIPING," (slandering another person), stop them immediately! Ask them if they have talked to the person that they seem to be gossiping about. Have they confronted this person about their sin? Has this person gone through church discipline? Is the person still practicing the sin? If the sin or problem has been dealt with, then the person "gossiping" should be confronted for sinning against you and against the person they are talking about. They need to apologize to you and the person they have slandered. You might even say to this person, "Why not tell me about some of your own failures instead of another person's failures. Will my knowing about another person's failures make my Christian walk any better?" "Will this information edify me?" Meditate on the following verses:

Ephesians 4:29-32 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Live it Up!

My Mom always taught me that there are way too many people who are in the "time of their lives" who are letting the moments slip by unappreciated.

I have noticed the dangers of "waiting to live" in many people. They are waiting for some event before they can really appreciate their lives. For example, "when I graduate,..." "when I start my new job,..." "when I start making money,..." "after I have the baby,..." "when I get a house,..." etc.

"Enjoy life. This is not a dress rehearsal." --

Look for the reason that THIS DAY is the "time of your life."

There are several "ROBBERS" of this mentality:

1. Ungratefulness. If you are not grateful for what you HAVE, you will always be concentrating on what you DON'T have. If you are grateful for what you have, it will be enough. You will be able to rejoice with others even when they have more or "better" than you, because you are so grateful for what has been given to you.

Look at your spouse and find reasons to appreciate them. It never fails to amaze me that I have been blessed with a person who committed to walk through life with me: all the ups, downs and in-betweens. Someone who has known me from "way back when" -- who knows the reason behind my joys and tears and looks deeply enough to see my heart. This has come from seeing the best in HIM over the years too, and not expecting perfection from him. It has come from investing into our relationship by constant efforts. It has come by living the Word of God -- having a soft answer, loving him for who he is without trying to change him, allowing him space to grow as a person, and not leaning on him for my sole source of joy.

Look at yourself and find reasons to appreciate who you are. Do yourself a favor and give up perfection. Instead, simply strive for excellence. Don't be so hard on yourself! Appreciate who you are, and focus on your strong points. Don't get hung up on little imperfections so that you can't enjoy who you are and live out 100% the life God created you to live. "May you live all the moments of your life!" -- "Fully present, fully alive!" Give yourself some room!

2. Another huge "robber" that insidiously robs us of our ability to live victoriously is unforgiveness. Unforgiveness will SAP your life of its joy. LET GO, give it up, lay it down, forget about it. Set people FREE. The ministry of reconciliation has been committed to each one of us. I am convinced that if anyone harbors unforgiveness towards ANY ONE in ANY WAY, there is no way you can be fit for the kingdom of heaven. Jesus had a lot to say about unforgiveness. He said what you do to the LEAST of people is what you do to HIM. He said if you can't love MAN than you can't love HIM. He said to forgive 70 x 7! Why? Not just because the person seeking (or NOT seeking) your forgiveness needs it -- because YOU need it. YOU need it to even be forgiven by the Lord for any sin YOU have committed (the same way you forgive others is the way YOU will be forgiven!). Forgiving others for things they've done to you says that you do not hold them responsible for your life, but you hold the LORD responsible. Forgiving others opens your life to walk in 100% forgiveness from the Lord for YOUR transgressions. Forgiveness shows the Lord that you KNOW that HE is in control and disallows any person to negatively impact your physical, emotional, spiritual or mental soundness. Forgiveness is the anecdote for bitterness. Bitterness can never raise its ugly head when forgiveness is present!

“One day at a time--this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.”

A LOT starts with NOT being THANKFUL:

Romans 1.21-26: Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and agodless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves]. And by them the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God were exchanged for and represented by images, resembling mortal man and birds and beasts and reptiles. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their [own] hearts to sexual impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves [abandoning them to the degrading power of sin], Because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, Who is blessed forever! Amen (so be it). For this reason God gave them over and abandoned them to vile affections and degrading passions.

CHALLENGE: Be GRATEFUL today for ALL you have. Don't allow ANYTHING to rob you of the JOY of this day! Tell your spouse how much you appreciate them -- SOAK up your moments! And "Live life so completely that when death comes to you like a thief in the night, there will be nothing left for him to steal."