You realize that everywhere you go, you’re packing a concealed weapon, right?
And I’m guessing in the last week, you’ve had an occasion to use it. I hope there wasn’t too much damage done.
I’m talking about your tongue. The small, flexible muscle in your mouth can do a lot of damage. Or a lot of good.
Your tongue, James says, is a small member capable of great things. It is, he says, “a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”
If you’ve been on social media or watched cable TV news in the past few weeks, you’ve seen clear evidence of just how deadly a tongue can be.
But as you know, the tongue is not the issue. It’s what the tongue is connected to. “Out of the abundance of the heart,” Jesus said, “the mouth speaks.” When your tongue explodes, it’s your heart that’s the detonator.
Earlier this week, FamilyLife Today aired two interviews with author and speaker Dr. Emerson Eggerichs about the importance of guarding not only our tongues, but also our computer and cell phone keyboards. Dr. Eggerichs has written a book called “Before You Hit Send.”
Emerson talked about how the Greek philosopher Socrates had a three-pronged test that he used to guide his communication. Three questions he would ask himself before he spoke. “Is it true? Is it kind? And is it necessary?”
Eggerichs talks in his book about how he has tried to apply that test to his own communication. And he’s added a fourth question. “Is it clear?”
Of course, since the problem is a heart problem long before it ever becomes a tongue problem, we need to remember that the things we “think on” are the things that will ultimately shape the things we say to one another.
And that’s where Philippians 4 comes into play. It provides us with direction on what kinds of things we ought to be setting our mind on.
Things that are true.
Things that are just and pure.
Lovely. Commendable. Excellent.
Even if you set your mind on the noble and pure and lovely things, your heart will still erupt with flashes of snark and anger and cynicism and sarcasm. It will just happen less often.
Last week, Ligon Duncan, the Chancellor at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson MS took to Twitter to share his personal social media strategy. Here are the guidelines he applies to how he interacts on social media.
1. Relentlessly encourage, edify & inform.
2. Ignore trolls, mockers & slanderers into oblivion.
3. Starve dissensionists, narcissists, & errorists of the attention they crave.
4. Point people to sound people & resources.
5. Exalt Christ. Bible. Grace. Truth. Gospel.
6. Stay out of food fights. Don’t lob hand grenades into serious discussions. Bring people together.
7. Be kind. Persuade (rather than rally).
8. Treat people on social media like I would treat them in person
9. Don’t be different on social media from what I am in my life, family, church and ministry. Be the same person online and offline.
10. Don’t give inordinate attention to people whose only “platform” is social media & who elsewhere have little accountability, responsibility.
Those goals apply to more than just social media. Many of those same strategies, when applied, will help us avoid sinning with our tongues.
Your tongue may be the one muscle in your body that would benefit from being exercised less often.
And when you do use your tongue (or your fingers on the computer keys), maybe ask yourself if what you’re about to say/type is true, kind, necessary and clear.
And then wait until the answer to all four questions is yes before you speak or hit send.
More pics from our job site. This is pretty exciting!
Just in case you’re wondering, we are in fact building our new church house on the rock. Here’s the proof…
We’re also looking for ways to bless the men who are doing the work for us. Cookies are always a blessing.
Please continue to pray for the work, for the workers and for the weather!
Have you been visiting Redeemer for a while found yourself thinking “this feels like home for me?” Great! We’d love to connect and talk about what’s involved in membership at RCC.
We have a Saturday membership class coming up later this month, on Saturday morning, October 27. We have a little bit of reading and a few videos we’d like for you to watch before the membership meeting happens. So if you think you might be interested, the next step is to connect with Matt Gurney and find out more. Send Matt an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and he’ll get back to you with all the details.
Sunday, October 28 is the date for our upcoming all church picnic. Here are the details with info about the food we need you to bring!
Still looking for a few folks who can spare a Sunday or two this fall to take care of babies in our nursery. Send an email to Kelly Rackley at email@example.com and let her know you’d love to help.
At one point, Mordecai is a secret agent for the king. Then all of a sudden, has he become a double agent? What’s going on?
This Sunday, we’ll look at how remembering who we are in Christ will lead us honor the right things and to live as Gospel people in the world.
See you in church.
Soli Deo Gloria!