Sunday, August 1, 2010

Oops... Did I Actually Say That?

This past week, I said something to a friend as a joke... but they got seriously offended.  Funny how that happens so easily.  I have seen people in a fight or an argument say things that they later regretted... but it is possible to send a proverbial knife into someone by just a few poorly chosen words. 

Well... there are days when I put my foot in my mouth, and then there are days when I open my mouth and put them both in.  Rather than to continue just changing feet in my mouth... I sought some spiritual counsel on how to better manage my words.

I SAID, I will take heed and guard my ways, that I may sin not with my tongue; I will muzzle my mouth as with a bridle while the wicked are before me.
Psalm 39:1 [AMP]

Set a guard, O Lord, before my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips.
Psalm 141:3 [AMP]

I remember years ago making somebody so mad that they pulled out a gun and threatened to shoot me for saying something out of line.  I escaped with my life... and then began to pray the above scriptures.  It helped... but it is an on-going task... as we will see in this study.

Another thing that I notice a lot lately is the use of the name of the Lord in vain. I don't just mean to use God's name as a curse or in connection with profanity. While those things are certainly horrible (from a Christian’s perspective) I'm talking about the use of the Lord's name as an adjective or an exclamation.

For example, when you watch a television program do you notice characters who exclaim, “Oh my god!” Or even, bypassing the more gentrifying exclamations such as gosh or golly and just saying His name?

Even more disturbing, those who throw the name of Jesus around in a vain or useless manner. And when they go so far as to use the name of Jesus in conjunction with a profanity… I just want to jump out of my chair and scream!

I would imagine that most Americans are familiar with the Ten Commandments. Whether or not you have seen the motion picture of that title starring Charlton Heston, wore the animated film “The Prince of Egypt,” most Americans have been exposed to those 10 precepts given by God to the children of Israel.  Well then, in that case you should recognize this:

You shall not use or repeat the name of the Lord your God in vain [that is, lightly or frivolously, in false affirmations or profanely]; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
Exodus 20:7 [AMP]

Unfortunately, while most people are aware of that scripture, they don’t seem to either belive or take it seriously.  And the frequency in which this abuse and misuse of His name occurs is increasing at an alarming rate. 

Not very long ago, I was watching a documentary in which so called atheists were mocking God’s commandment to have no other gods before Him. It is funny to think of people who claim that there is no God and at the same time question His word. Apparently God also finds this amusing.

1WHY DO the nations assemble with commotion [uproar and confusion of voices], and why do the people imagine (meditate upon and devise) an empty scheme?
2The kings of the earth take their places; the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and His Anointed One (the Messiah, the Christ). They say,
3Let us break Their bands [of restraint] asunder and cast Their cords [of control] from us.
4He Who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord has them in derision [and in supreme contempt He mocks them].
Psalm 2:1-4 [AMP]

Yes, God Who created this entire universe and everything in it... the all wise, all powerful, all knowing God created man and yet His very creation is arrogant enough to think that he can rebel against his Creator?  Hmm... where did that idea originate?  Who was the first to come up with such a ridiculous plan.  Could it be...satan?

13And you said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit upon the mount of assembly in the uttermost north.
14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.
15Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol (Hades), to the innermost recesses of the pit (the region of the dead).

Isaiah 14:13-15 [AMP]

Yes, those are the words that the angel formerly known as Lucifer spoke before his fall.  And, sadly... the thoughts of those who align themselves with satan and shake their fists toward heaven in bold defiance against the One who has all power in His hand.  And the greatest rebellion that man can perform is to break the commandment against using the Lord’s name in vain. Why?  Because words are containers for great power.  God created the heavens and the earth by speaking those great words:

Let there be...

And of all created things on this planet, man is the only one given the ability to choose and speak words.  Created in God’s image, our words have great power.  The power of death... and, the power of life.

20 A man’s [moral] self shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth; and with the consequence of his words he must be satisfied [whether good or evil].
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].
Proverbs 18:20-21 [AMP]

We have been warned by the Master Jesus Himself, that on the day of judgment that we will be judged for what comes out of our mouths... because what comes out of the mouth is a barometer of what is in the heart.  Everyone will one day leave this life behind.  Death takes rich and poor... Republican and Democrat... saved and unsaved.  Death is probably the only sure thing about life.  And yet, after death comes another sure thing: judgment.  The atheist denies the existence of God to abolish in his or her thinking the idea of judgement or punishment.  In like manner, the person who drives recklessly does so thinking that his or her driving is with impunity.  You ever watch those high-speed chase shows on television?  Eventually, they either get caught or involved in a spectacular crash.  But each time, they step on the accelerator not realizing that you can’t run.  You can’t hide.  You must face the music.

People live their lives like a high-speed chase... and yet death will eventually catch you.  And then, after that... the judgement.  And all those times you threw the name of God or Jesus around in a vain or profane manner... YIKES!

And just as it is appointed for [all] men once to die, and after that the [certain] judgment
Hebrews 9:27 [AMP]

36But I tell you, on the day of judgment men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak.
37For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced.
Matthew 12:36-37 [AMP]

The upright (honorable, intrinsically good) man out of the good treasure [stored] in his heart produces what is upright (honorable and intrinsically good), and the evil man out of the evil storehouse brings forth that which is depraved (wicked and intrinsically evil); for out of the abundance (overflow) of the heart his mouth speaks.
Luke 6:45 [AMP]

Therefore, it is imperative that each man or woman reading this REPENT and receive God's free gift of salvation (see John 3:16).  Once you get your sins forgien (see 1 John 1:9), then you can follow the advice of the Apostle Paul in the book of Ephesians regarding how to properly govern your mouth:

29 Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden Him], by Whom you were sealed (marked, branded as God’s own, secured) for the day of redemption (of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin).
Ephesians 4:29-30 [AMP]

Watching our words is an ongoing thing that we must all do.  I know that I occasionally have friends tell me that I said something that hurt them, or embarrasssed them, or worse.  That not only hurts my friends, but it grieves the Holy Spirit of God.

That I definitely don’t want to do... so this week’s prayer focus will be on watching and correcting my mouth... and even words that I might text or message to others.

Care to join me in that this week?

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