Say What You Mean, and Mean What You Say
June 2, 2002
QUOTE: Edwin H. Stuart wrote, "Remember, every time you open your mouth to talk, your mind walks out and marches up and down with your words."
QUOTE: George Crane said, "Language is the apparel in which your thoughts parade before the public."
1. There is nothing quite equal to the power of the human tongue--good or bad...speech can create good and accomplish wonderful things, or on the other hand, it can do more damage and cause more hurt than anything imaginable.
QUOTE: Dr. George Sweeting of Moody Bible Institute wrote, "The tongue can be a beautiful angel or a hideous demon. The tongue can be as honey or vinegar. The tongue can be pure or vile. The tongue can caress or cut. The tongue can rouse men to act as well as it can subdue their emotions. A false whisper can infuriate a nation, but the power of eloquence can quell the fury of a multitude. A word of anger can wound while a word of kindness can win. Words of hate can kill and words of love can kiss."
2. In Prov. 18:21 we are told, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue."
3. If what we say is so important, and if the words we speak hold great meaning and significance... if God holds us accountable for our words, then, should we not "say what we mean and mean what we say?"
4. The reason I bring the message today is to cause us all to examine our speech--the words we use in every day life. I am afraid that all-to-often, people never give much thought as to the accountability of their words.
5. Let me give you a brief outline this morning:
I. WE SHOULD ALWAYS THINK BEFORE WE SPEAK
1. How many times have we all said things we wish had given careful thought to before we spoke?
And then we say, "I wish I hadn't said that," or "I wish I had thought before I spoke."
QUOTE: Someone wrote, "The average man thinks about what he has said; the above average about what he is going to say."
QUOTE: Calvin Coolidge said, "I have never been hurt by anything I didn't say."
2. In James 1:19, we are told, "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak."
3. Let's put those two thoughts down: "Swift to hear and slow to speak."
A. We will have the tendency to "say what we mean and mean what we say" if we have learned the art of listening--if we are "swift to hear."
1. That's a problem for many...not too many people want to listen...most want to do the talking:
2. Do you know a person never learned anything while he was talking...the learning process works best when we are taking in information, rather than giving it out.
QUOTE: Someone said, "If God intended that we should talk more than we listen, He would have given us two mouths and one ear."
3. You and I ought to both say this little prayer, "God help me to pay attention when people speak--help me to develop the habit of listening."
B. (James 1: ...
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