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204: Avoid Evil Speaking

204: Avoid Evil Speaking

Key verses in this episode - -

(Jeremiah 17:9-10 NKJV) (9) "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? (10) I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.

(Romans 6:1 NKJV) (1) What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?

(James 3:2, 6, 8 NKJV) (2) For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. ... (6) And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. ... (8) But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

(Matthew 12:35-37 NKJV) (35) "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. (36) "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. (37) "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

(Ephesians 4:29 NKJV) (29) Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

(1 John 1:8 NKJV) (8) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

(Proverbs 18:13, 17 NKJV) (13) He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him. ... (17) The first one to plead his cause seems right, Until his neighbor comes and examines him.

(2 Corinthians 12:20 NKJV) (20) For I fear lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and that I shall be found by you such as you do not wish; lest there be contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, backbitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults;

(2 Corinthians 13:1 NKJV) (1) This will be the third time I am coming to you. "By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established."

(Proverbs 26:22 NKJV) (22) The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost body.

(Proverbs 25:18 NKJV) (18) A man who bears false witness against his neighbor Is like a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow.

(Colossians 3:8 NKJV) (8) But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.

(Ephesians 4:26 NKJV) (26) "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath,

(Ecclesiastes 7:9 NKJV) (9) Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools.

(Proverbs 15:8 NKJV) (8) The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But the prayer of the upright is His delight.

(2 Timothy 3:1-5 NKJV) (1) But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: (2) For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, (3) unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, (4) traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, (5) having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

  • Joe Banes says:

    I never quite thought of things in this way before. Gossip is obviously something we know is wrong, and I agree we’ve all done it or had moments where we wonder if we are. We get caught up talking about an issue and it turns into talking about people involved. I can see how this can become a struggle as a counselor so I’m grateful to have this in my head now to consider and think about. I too, don’t want to find myself speaking evil of anyone. As a friend, discretion is important, but as a counselor it’s paramount I think and people need to know that you aren’t going to participate in tearing others down. The idea is to introduce everyone that is willing to the Wonderful Counselor. To deepen the relationship of all counselees with their Savior. Too much of the world’s counseling is caught up in the idea of passing blame to others or to situations. It reminds me of what I read in Paul Tripp’s book, about the case where a woman had a truly horrific past, but used that as an excuse for her own behavior. Where that intersects with this teaching to me is when, as you mentioned, someone is talking about another person, be it their spouse, a friend, a parent, and trying to drop the blame on them. We can’t join them in talking about those people beyond understanding the right dynamics in order to help the one we’re counseling to find healing in Christ. I’m sure if you aren’t careful it can be slippery at times to not slip into the realm of evil speaking. Thanks for this teaching and warning!

  • Erin Foster says:

    I appreciate this podcast and teaching, because it is such a difficult line to walk as a counselor. We must truly be so dependent upon the Holy Spirit to know how to gather information in a way that is glorifying to God, not giving ear to evil speaking and gossip. Self-deception comes too easily when our hearts are not guarded against it. James 3 has always convicted me. I agree that just because something may be truly thought by a counsel does not make it necessary to hear. God is not glorified by people giving full vent to their anger, but as the Proverb says, we should hold it back, so that the dam doesn’t break (Proverbs 17:4).
    Praying for growth in discernment as I continue to make myself available as a counselor, and putting myself in positions where my words will be heard by those seeking help, that the Holy Spirit would by His grace control my tongue, and enable me to avoid allowing for fruitless tale-bearing.
    Thank you for the wise warning, Pastor Jeff!

    • Joe Banes says:

      Some good points. What jumped out to me while reading was the idea of how the world around us is just so into self. Self focus, self care, self esteem, self everything. So venting of anger in this world is just a part of self care, where you are the highest level of focus so everyone should just listen to whatever you have to say. So much deception when the Bible is clear about esteeming others over ourselves (Philippians 3:2). Jesus put us first and he was the only one that had any right to put himself first. I think this lines up with why we talk so much, because with such a self focus we want people to hear us or think people need to hear us and so we talk and talk to get above the noise and many words makes transgression unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise, Proverbs 10:19. I really think your last sentence is key. We have to submit every member, but especially the tongue, to His control.

  • Travis Silver says:

    Thanks Pastor Jeff, What a great reminder of how we have have a huge impact on others with what we speak. this podcast has opened my eyes to what I already knew but sometimes with the daily life or grind we tend to go to sleep to the truths that the Lord has put before us. I reflect on how my buddy and I at work will let the conversation lead down roads sometimes that should be different. Sometimes other people that work around us or above do things that we don’t agree with and we will occasionally get on this kick where we start agreeing with each other in negative ways about the people that we don’t agree with. While listening to this podcast, the Lord gave to me that I need to promote positivity, no matter how I’m feeling about certain people or certain situation’s. So I’m going to try a new approach when these situations arrive and my buddy and I are sitting together mulling over them. We are to be the salt of the Earth.

    I also gleaned from what you were saying about when we let our counselee”s go on, and on, in our sessions can also be effective. It can be effective in a negative way to us, and to them. That we need to be awake to this manner of speaking.

    Wonderful study Pastor Jeff!

    • Erin Foster says:

      It is so easy to slip into these traps for sure! I especially am challenged when it comes to discerning the time and method with which to put an end to even listening that is unhelpful/allows for sinful speaking. The Holy Spirit is capable to lead us in these areas, and promises to do so, and that is our hope!
      James 3 and the discussion of the relentless evil of the tongue comes to mind, but I also love James 3:13 that says, “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom,” paired with James 1:5, ” If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

    • Joe Banes says:

      Yeah, it’s so easy to do this at work. Complaining about the conditions or the boss or I’ve had cases where I might make fun of a user because of what they did with some equipment I had to fix. I think that’s what makes this so insidious in many cases is that you start off with a comment and it can snowball so quickly. We forget James and how the tongue brings life or death and we are the ones speaking it. Even in the good things we say, I think we have to be sure we are always mindful of what Holy Spirit wants us to say in any given situation. I know I try hard to practice just listening to God and what he might want me to say and not say, but I also often get just caught up in the day and I forget to listen. I just jump right in. The best part about focusing on listening is that you can’t talk and listen, so it’s a good way to keep wrong words out of our mouths!

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