Why we say the things we do
Greetings precious people, I hope that you are doing well today and rejoicing in the goodness of Jesus Christ the Lord. If there is something that I can pray for you about, please let me know. I would consider it an honor to pray for you.
I would like to invite you to join us to a trip to Israel at the end of this year. There is no experience like being in the place that much of what is in the Bible took place and where many future events that are still yet to occur. If you are interested in joining us, you may contact me at one of the addresses below. There is also another new development that is soon to be completed. All of the past articles that have been written over the past two and a half years will soon be available on our web site. All youíll have to do is type in Calvary Chapel of Alpine on your search engine, then click on "Articles" and a selection of all the past articles will appear.
In todayís article we are going to look at "Why we say the things we do." Have you ever said something that you wish you could take back? Something that right after the words came out of your mouth you thought, "Oh what a stupid thing to have said, I wish I never would have said that." I have, more times than I wish to remember.
The Bible is full of examples of people saying things that they later wished they hadnít. The Apostle Peter seems to have made it a habit of saying things he later regretted. One particular instance was immediately following what would become known as the Last Supper. In Mark 14:25-31, we read, "And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: 'I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.' "But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee." Peter said to Him, "Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be." Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times." But he spoke more vehemently, "If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" And they all said likewise."
Peter, as well as the other 10 disciples, firmly believed in their heart what they had said. They boasted of great things, Peter more than the others, for he said, "Even if all (the other guys) deny you, I never will." Whether it is great boasts, lies, unkind words, or irrational statements made in a moment of anger, we all say things we wish we wouldnít have.
The Bible has much to say about the tongue or better understood by todayís vinacular, our mouth or the words that come out of our mouth. The Book of James has arguably the most to say about this subject. In James 3:2-12, "For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word (what he/she has to say), he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 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. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring can yield both salt water and fresh."
So why do we say those things that we are later sorry for? Where do those thoughts come from? The Bible, the Word of God reveals the origin of all those things that come out of our mouth whether good or bad. In Matthew 12:33-37, Jesus said, "Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 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. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."
And in Mark 7:18-23, "So He (Jesus) said to them, "Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?" And He said, "What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man."
I know this is difficult for many to accept, for we like to think that we have a good heart; that everyone has a little bit of good in them somewhere. But we must all make the decision of which we are going to believe. Will we choose to believe our own thoughts and feelings and the ideas of others, or will we choose to believe the Bible even if it makes us uncomfortable.
It has been established from the previously stated verses that what comes out of our mouth originates in our heart. It is vital that we understand what the Bible has to say about the condition of everyoneís heart. In Jeremiah 17:9-10, "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? 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."
And so it is not so much an issue of our mouth and what comes out of it, as it is an issue of our heart. It has been said that, "The heart of every problem is the problem with every heart." It is our heart that needs to be changed, not reformed or dressed up, but made new. This is what King David meant when he cried out to God in Psalm 51:10, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."
The astounding thing is, that when a person comes to accept Godís assessment of him or herself, repents of their sin, and places their faith in Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of their life, it is the heart of that man or woman that Jesus comes into to live. As He comes into that personís heart, He begins to make some necessary changes. He gives the person the ability to see things differently, to see areas that once went unnoticed, are now a cause for concern. Many times it has to do with things that proceed out of our mouth. It may be cursing, foul language, using the Lordís name in vain, saying hurtful things to those around us. As we begin to hear ourselves say these things, our heart is troubled and we cry out to God to change us, to help keep our mouth shut more often.
As we cry out to God for Him to work and change us, He faithfully begins to work. I have found that there are no limits to what God can do and wants to do. The only thing, or I should say the only one that hinders Him from working in my life is me. It is usually my stubbornness or hard-heartedness that keeps Him from doing all that He wants to do in my life.
Dear precious people, are you aware of changes that need to take place in your life? Do you follow the example of the world that encourages you to speak your mind regardless of who it may hurt or affect? The good news is that God will help you as you submit to Him and allow Him to make the changes that are needed in your life. They all wonít be easy, but they are all necessary. Trust the Lord to do a work in your life today.
If you have any questions, comments, or prayer requests you can contact me at: Calvary Chapel of Alpine, P.O. Box 1528, Alpine, Ca. 91903 or call 619-445-2589, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Drew Macintyre is pastor of Calvary Chapel of Alpine