corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that
which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister
grace unto the hearers (Ephesians 4:29).
aren’t from the South, you may not be familiar with the idiom,
“Well, shut my mouth!” It is the equivalent of “You don’t
say!” or an expression of surprise.
I dare say
that you, like most of us, have had occasions that you would
love to be able to shut someone’s mouth, or even your own.
Once the words have flown outward, it’s impossible to recall
them; they are in the unseen air echoing forever. They may be
etched in stone in the mind of the one to whom they were
intended and are subject to being repeated again and again by
your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is
more than these cometh of evil” (Matthew 5:37).
knew if we talked too much, we would end up saying hurtful
things to and about one another. He doesn’t want us to be a “motor
brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not
liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one
another” (Galatians 5:13).
story relates how a busybody lady in a church disliked the
pastor and set out to “run him off.” She began to tell tales
about him and with each telling, embellished them, encouraging
her listeners to malign him with others, keeping it running at
full speed ahead. The day came when she had destroyed his
influence in the church and community until he was no longer
effective and had to resign as pastor. When the malicious
gossip soared, the lady began to realize what she had
perpetrated and was conscience stricken. She went to the
pastor and apologized for her misdeeds, seeking his
her to accompany him outside the church. He stood on the top
step, opened a feather pillow and shook the feathers into the
wind. As they were scattering over the church yard, he asked
her to please gather the feathers so he could stuff them back
into the casing. Astonished, she told him that would be
impossible. The pastor shared with her that the “feathers” of
gossip that she had tossed out about him had “scattered to the
wind” and were impossible to retrieve. He forgave her, but
the damage she had done was irreparable.
are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of
God” (Matthew 5:9).
tale-bearing are evil concoctions of the devil! He likes
nothing better than to slay a Christian without firing a shot;
just infusing someone with the poison of malice against
another and equipping them with his fiery darts to inflict
serious wounds. ‘Self’ is always behind gossip.
tales is self-glorifying and self destructive.” (Dr. Laura Schlessinger)
written this in other articles, but it bears repeating:
The church is the only army that kills its wounded. “The
church” being and including all born-again, blood-bought
Christians world wide. On the battlefields of every war,
there have been stories of heroic efforts by soldiers to
rescue their fellow comrades; sometimes risking their own
lives even to recover the bodies already killed in battle.
Sadly, often in spiritual battles, our wounded have lain on
the battlefield seriously wounded and left to die alone. One
who is wounded, drowning and needing to be rescued, may have a
foot on his head keeping his head under water until he
rhyme we said as children is misleading. “Sticks and stones
may break my bones, but names will never kill me.” That is
nothing more than a defense mechanism to cover pain! Of
course names hurt, because they are backed up by ill
intentions and meant to be hurtful. Someone thoughtfully said
that “Many a man’s tongue broke his nose.” That’s true, but
even more true is that it can break our relationship with God
and His family and damage our witness.
It is time
for Christians to burn the “sticks” and toss the “stones” in
the pond where they are not longer accessible! How in
the world can we win a world dying for the want of someone to
tell them about the Love of God when we are
“stick-and-stoning” each other? How can the person
frustrating us hear God’s voice if we keep interrupting Him?
It’s difficult to listen to different voices at the same time,
especially when they are opposed to one another. When we
are shaking the secret feathers of another in the wind, never
able to gather then again, we are disavowing that God loves
them. When we publish a verbal tabloid about our
brothers and sisters, we are exposing our own sin! Oh,
we don’t want to hear that!
evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all
meekness unto all men" (Titus 3:2).
Gossip-mongers use the excuse, “I am just telling the truth
and they deserve whatever results come from it.” What if the
Lord revealed the truth about us; what is in our hearts, our
intents? We would plead with Him to keep the secret between
us and him. Have we forgotten that the Bible warns us that
our sins will be exposed for all the world to see? God is
hiding our secrets now; when we repent and change He tosses
them into the Forgetful Sea; but failure to repent and the
continuance of them will ring throughout eternity.
day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ
according to my gospel” (Romans 2:16).
man’s work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare
it, because it shall be revealed by fire, and the fire shall
try every man’s work of what sort it is” (1 Corinthians 3:13).
using this wonderful organ, that God gave us called the 'mouth,'
to hurt, let it be used for damage control, helping others to
recover from the wounds of the fiery darts. Let it be used
for the commission that Jesus gave His disciples just before
He left: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world,
and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
You say, “But I am not a preacher.” You really are more than
We consider the letters to be sermons that Paul
wrote to the churches (which make up most of our New
Testament). They have been repeated millions of times from
pulpits as sermons. With that in mind, Paul wrote the
Corinthian church, “Ye are our epistle written in our
hearts, known and read of all men” (2 Corinthians 3:2).
Did you get that? Not just our words, but we, ourselves, are
epistles known of others! The very life we live is a letter
(sermon) to the world. Our words are shallow and hollow if
they are not backed up by our “epistle” (right actions).
man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth
another hath fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8).
We need to
shut up—to listen. We have to shut up—to allow silence to
speak. Look in the mirror and notice that we have two ears
and only one mouth. Does that mean we should listen twice as
much as we speak? Our ears are the entrance to our mind. We
need to have a processor between our ears and our minds that
will automatically shut the mind’s door and hear “reject,
reject” the things that are not “honest, just, pure, lovely,
of good report, having virtue and are praise worthy”
(Philippians 4:8). As Christians, the Processor is the Word
of God, activated by the Holy Spirit. This procedure should
be always in operation before we allow anything to enter our
mind or comment on it. Instead of quick decisions, take time
to process everything that is on the road to the mind,
filtering it through Philippians 4:8. If necessary, get
counsel from a godly person when in doubt.
kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians
will be clearer when it doesn’t have to wade through
entanglements of a cluttered mind. We need to be careful that
we don’t drown out God’s voice—or the voice He has sent to
cause us to shut up and listen, consider and judge it by His
will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries
shall not be able to gainsay nor resist” (Luke 21:15).
are avid listeners. The hinge that opens and closes their
mouth has been well lubricated to shut securely and keep quiet
while listening and to open freely to repeat what their eager
ears have heard. Let us use that hinge to shut our mouths to
protect us from becoming an “open sepulcher filled with
throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used
deceit; the poison of asps under their lips” (Romans 3:13).
there is a time to shut up and a time to speak. When God is
speaking through His Word or one of His servants, it is time
to shut up and listen. How can we tell when it’s time to
speak? The criterion is found in Ephesians 4:15, “But
speaking the truth in love [emphasis mine], may
grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even
Christ.” And we do know in our hearts if we truly are
speaking the truth “in love” or in malice. Let us not kid
ourselves and justify speaking when it is not “in love.” The
results will be determined by the motivation.
walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given
himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a
sweet-smelling savor” (Ephesians 5:2).
Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward
another…” (1 Thessalonians 3:12).
fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in
faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13).
still reading? Then, like me, you probably see the need to
use caution when things are about to enter our ears which will
end up in our mind and eventually in our hearts which will
lead to actions. We need to allow God to sanctify (set apart
for His service) our ears and mouth to honor Him. James said
(James 1) an unbridled tongue deceives our own heart and our
religion is in vain (empty, worthless). Pretty strong
words! Makes us cry like Paul did, “O wretched man [woman]
that I am!” But he knew who his deliverer was. His total
trust in God was based on his relationship with Jesus Christ.
are still with me, I’ll release my confession. While it might
seem like I am pointing a finger at my readers, bear in mind
that a forefinger pointed toward anyone else has three pointed
back at me! While “I have come a long way,” I have a ways yet
to go; but I’ll make it, because God is still working on me!
Lord. Help me to listen! Let me be a promoter of
Your "myspace" telling the world that you love them and want
them to love one another!
mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh
bless his holy name forever and ever” (Psalm 145:21).
these words rule our lives. Amen!