How Faith Tames the Tongue
5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness..." (James 2:5-6, ESV)
" When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies..." (John 8:44, ESV)
"Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved...." (Philippians 4:1, ESV)
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." (Philippians 4:8, ESV)
"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7, ESV)
"What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." (Philippians 4:9, ESV)
"Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. 9 Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit." (Psalm 51:8-12, ESV)
LIFEGROUP NOTES - How Faith Tames the Tongue
Sunday’s sermon brought our attention to an often overlooked component of our individual processes of sanctification...the tongue! As a group, take some time to discuss the following uses of the tongue.
1. In what ways are we to refrain from using our tongue in speech?
2. In what ways are we instructed and encouraged to use our tongue?
3. Of your daily words, what would your estimate be for how many of them are used in the way that we are scripturally instructed?
Recent research shows that humans speak, on average, just under 6 million words a year. So if in question three, you estimated that 80% of your words were used in a way in which the bible instructs us to use our words, then 20% of your words are used in ways that are not biblical. That means that 1.2 million OF YOUR words a year are used to tear down, hurt, gossip, lie, manipulate, deceive, or to facilitate some other nefarious or sinful intention. Discuss this as a group
Words are incredibly powerful! They can be used to encourage and inspire, or they can be used to destroy and harm. Because of this truth, let’s look at a simple equation concerning our words and how we use them.
4. As a group, read and discuss Proverbs 18:21. What do we learn from these verses?
5. Since words have such power, what does Jesus Christ say about the way that we use words? As a group, turn to Matt. 12:36 to answer this question.
This is important! Please, think about this! We would have no problem understanding that a righteous God would condemn profane, vile, our course speech--but carless speech? How often are we careless with our words. How often do we say something without thought for how it will be received or how it will impact someone else?
How does the bible say that we are to use our words. Let’s take a look.
6. As a group, read Matt. 5:44. What are we supposed to use our words for regarding our enemies?
7. Read Proverbs 20:19, Proverbs 16:28. What do these passages say about how we should use our words?
8. Read Matt. 5:37. How does this passage tell us to use our words?
9. Read Eph 4:29. How does this passage tell us to use our words?
So we see from scripture that we should use our words in a particular way--to help, encour- age and to build up others. So how do we begin to make this transformation if we are someone who uses our words in a careless, hurtful, or sinful way? Scripture is very clear about this; it says that we are to adjust our hearts! Matt 15:18 says that the words that come out of our mouths are directly from our heart. If we speak this way, we need to spend more time with God asking Him to change our hearts so that we can honor Him with our words.