Dr. E. Dale Locke
Sermon Series: Better Wise Up!
Sermon 3: Tongue Tied!
- We’re reading through the book of Proverbs in 31 days to seek God’s wisdom for our daily lives. Share one thing that has been helpful to you personally from the past 7 days of readings out of Proverbs that you’ve done on your own.
- Read from Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus – Ephesians 5:15-17:
Be very careful, then, how you live– not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
What do you notice in these verses?
- Read the following Proverbs out of this past week’s readings – which all have to do with our words:
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
The wise store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.
The lips of the righteous know what finds favor, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.
The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.
Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.
What do you notice out of these verses about God’s desires for how we speak with one another?
- Read Proverbs 10:18-21:
Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips and spreads slander is a fool. 19 Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues. 20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value. 21 The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of sense.
Our words have great power to hurt people or to encourage people. Share about a time in your childhood when you were hurt because of the words of someone else.
- All of us have been on both sides of the power of the tongue. We have been wounded by others’ words; and we have wounded people with our words. We need God’s help in this area.
Read James 3:1-12:
Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. 3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
What do you notice in this passage about God’s desire regarding how we speak?
Four Truths About My Tongue:
- My Tongue Will Direct Where I Go (James 3:3-5)
- Talk about how a person’s words can impact the direction of their future – both positively and negatively.
- My Tongue Can Destroy What I Have (James 3:5b-8)
- What are some ways that our tongue can destroy what we have – especially in our relationships?
- At each level of communication, risk goes up. We generally start with casual conversation and then we gradually go deeper and let people in on our heart. Consider in your own heart whether you are appropriately opening up to others, so that you can develop genuine friendships and not be alone. On one side, you might be too closed and unwilling to risk. Or, on the other side, you might be someone who shares too much too quickly. Talk with your group about how to balance these two extremes in our relationships.
- My Tongue Will Define Who I Am (James 3:9-12)
- How do you feel when you spend time with someone who is always negative and complaining?
10. Consider your own tendencies in how you speak with others. What does your speech say about who you are?
- My Tongue has the power to declare WHOSE I am
11. Read Romans 10:9-10:
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
With our mouth we can take the most important step in life – giving our life to Christ and receiving His forgiveness. This step changes everything! Speaking out our commitment to Christ out loud through a public testimony and baptism is powerful and firms up our commitment.
If you’ve experienced it, tell your group what it was like to give a public testimony about your faith in Christ
If you haven’t experienced it yet, consider being baptized next weekend at one of our four weekend services. This is a great opportunity to declare that you belong to Jesus and firm up your relationship with Him. Sign up TODAY at communityofhope.church/baptism.