August 19, 2020 Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church

Weekly Encouragement - 8/19

Weekly Encouragement - 8/19

Pastor Jud and I are sending a weekly encouragement based upon Galatians 5:15 and guided by Alexander Strauch’s, If You Bite and Devour Each Other. The aim is to instruct what God’s Word teaches about conflict and how we should respond. When conflict flares, we must consider the instruction of God’s Word to walk as children in light. We pray that these might be profitable for correction and instruction in the Word of God. 

"Control the Tongue"

There is perhaps no verse that captures better the power of the tongue than Proverbs 12:18 - "There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." We can all probably think of a time in our lives when the words of another person were like daggers in our heart, and we can also probably think of a time when we've been greatly encouraged and comforted by the words of another person. Put simply, the tongue has tremendous power, the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21). Therefore, it is important that Christians think carefully about how they are using their words.  

The Bible is sprinkled throughout with exhortations about using our tongues in an appropriate manner. What are some of the principles it gives to us? Here are a few:

  1. Be quick to hear and slow to speak (James 1:19). Instead of rushing to voice your opinion, take some time to listen, understand, and evaluate before responding.  
  2. Choose the right words: those that are gracious, edifying, and good for "building up" (Eph. 4:29-30). Remove inflammatory and cutting words from your vocabulary. 
  3. Speak the truth, but always do so in a loving and gracious manner (Eph. 4:15). There are times when we must speak the truth to someone sternly and with firmness, but even then the truth must be tempered by love.  

Let me add in conclusion that these Biblical exhortations apply not just to in-person interactions, but also to online interactions. It's easy to sit behind a keyboard and make remarks on social media or elsewhere that we would never make to others in-person.  Let us remember that "on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak" (Matthew 12:36), and that includes the words we've "spoken" online. May God give us all the grace to use our tongues to bring life and healing in every setting we find ourselves in.   

In Christ,

-Pastor Brennan