A CHALLENGE FOR 2014 AND BEYOND

A CHALLENGE FOR 2014 AND BEYOND

 

HOW IS YOUR SPEECH?

HOW IS YOUR SPEECH?

 

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”

James 3:9-12 (NIV, 1984)

During the month of January, one of the areas of prayer focus in the ministry that I attend, Family of Faith Ministries International,  is for us to be a people of praise and a part of that mandate is that we bless and not curse with our tongue.

This afternoon my reflections and prayer in this regard reminded me of a post that I wrote in December of 2010 called “We Need More PEPP Talk” and I felt prompted to re-blog a part of it.

May we all find these words a challenge to embrace in 2014 and beyond.

Be blessed!

Kim

 

WE NEED MORE PEPP TALK

We need more ”PEPP” talk in the Body of Christ.

“PEPP” talk? Yes, “PEPP” talk.

Talk for the purpose of Praise, Edification, Problem Solving or Prayer.

As Kingdom Ambassadors, God is calling us to a higher place in regard to our speech

Too many times the speech of Believers is characterized by gossip, slander, talebearing, backbiting, cursing, lying, flattering, boasting, exaggeration, negativity, complaining, dirty jokes, and whatever else God considers evil speech.

We need more “PEPP” talk. We need more conversations filled with:-

P – praise – speaking well of God and of others.

E – edification – building up another, being an improving influence on another.

P – problem solving – working through details of a problem to reach a solution, seeking to resolve or diffuse a situation as opposed to complicating it or adding more fuel to the fire.

P – prayer – praying for and with others and about situations.

I challenge you to ask the Holy Spirit to swiftly convict you each time you start to say something that falls outside the parameters of “PEPP” talk or out of line with what the scriptures define as godly speech.

I challenge you to ask Him to make you extremely sensitive to His voice relative to the things that you say and the conversations that you get involved in and then obey Him when He speaks, even if He tells you to stop what you are saying or listening to mid-sentence.

I challenge you to remove yourself from or end any conversation that is not “PEPP” talk or that is out of line with what the scriptures define as godly speech.

Are you up to the challenge?

Do you need some incentive?

Well let the following scriptures about speech give you a jumpstart and incentive to go in the right direction.

Don’t just read them. Meditate on them, repeat them out loud, seek to memorize them, and as you do this, ask the Lord to use them to transform your speech into what He desires it to be.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ephesians 4:29 (NIV, 1984)
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Psalms 34:1 (NIV, 1984)
“I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.”

Proverbs 11:12-13 (NIV, 1984)
“A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue. A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.”

Proverbs 15:4 (NIV, 1984)
“The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”

Proverbs 15:28 (NIV, 1984)
“The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.”

Proverbs 16:24 (NIV, 1984)
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

 Proverbs 18:20-21 (NIV, 1984)
“From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Ephesians 4:25 (NIV, 1984)
“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.”

Colossians 4:6 (NIV, 1984)
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

Colossians 3:8 (NIV, 1984)
“But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”

Colossians 3:16 (NIV, 1984)
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV, 1984)
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

1 Peter 3:9-11 (NIV, 1984)
“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.”

James 1:26 (NIV, 1984)
“If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fellow Kingdom Ambassadors, we need more ”PEPP” talk in the Body of Christ.

We need more conversation that is in line with what the scriptures define as godly speech. 

Let’s take up the challenge. With hearts surrendered to the will of God, the help of the Holy Spirit, and determined persistence until breakthrough, we can do it!!!

Shalom!

Kim

Copyright © 2014 by Kim Sweeting, Author of “Unwalled” Blog, All rights reserved.

“We Need More PEPP Talk” Copyright © 2010 by Kim, Author of “Unwalled” Blog, All rights reserved.

Image “SPEECH BUBBLE MADE WITH PEOPLE” by Vlado, courtesy of digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

3 KEYS TO EFFECTIVE SPEECH

THREE KEYS TO EFFECTIVE SPEECH

HOW EFFECTIVE IS YOUR SPEECH?

HOW EFFECTIVE IS YOUR SPEECH?

 

KEY #1

Know when to speak

 

“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:…….a time to be silent and a time to speak..”

(Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7 – NLT)

“Spouting off before listening to the facts
is both shameful and foolish.”

(Proverbs 18:3 – NLT)

“Timely advice is lovely,
    like golden apples in a silver basket.”

(Proverbs 25:11 – NLT)

 

KEY #2

Know what to speak

 

“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”

(Proverbs 4:29)

“Everyone enjoys a fitting reply it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!”

(Proverbs 15:23 – NLT)

“Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior.”

(II Timothy 2:16 – NLT)

 

KEY #3

Know how to speak

 

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

(Colossians 4:6 – NIV)

“A gentle answer deflects anger,
but harsh words make tempers flare.”

(Proverbs 15:1 – NLT

Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,
    but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.

(Proverbs 133 – NIV):

 

Thought for the Day

“When you have nothing to say it’s best to say nothing.”

 

“But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

(Matthew 12:36, 37 – NIV)

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.”

(Proverbs 18:21 – NKJV)

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;
Keep watch over the door of my lips.

(Psalms 141:3 – NKJV)

SELAH!

Be encouraged!

Kim

 

Copyright © 2013 by Kim Sweeting, Author of “Unwalled” Blog, All rights reserved.

Image courtesy of “Speech Bubbles Stock Image” by digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

THE TRUTH IN LOVE OR “CHURCHICALLY-CORRECT”

THE TRUTH IN LOVE OR “CHURCHICALLY-CORRECT”

Speak the Truth in Love

 

The Word of God admonishes us to speak the truth in love, but do we really practice doing this to the extent that we ought to in the Body of Christ?

Do we speak the truth in love, or do we opt for giving “churchically-correct” responses.

“Good morning Sister Donna, how are you doing today?

Churchically-correct response: “I’m just fine praise the Lord!”

Truth: I am an emotional basket-case because my marriage is a mess and looks like it will end in divorce.

“Hi Brother Paul, how are things going?”

Churchically-correct response: “Things are going great, God is good!”

Truth: “My business is failing and I’m stressed out because I fear not being able to support my family if it does.”

Hi Patti. Do you like my new short hair cut?”

Churchically-correct response: “Oh it is beautiful, I love it!”

Truth: “Longer hair really suited her better; this haircut does nothing for her at all.”

“Hi Pauline, Pastor Bob wants to know if you can lead a cell group this summer.”

Churchically-correct response: “Oh sure that will be no problem.”

Truth: “I am mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted and I really need to use the time to rejuvenate and replenish myself, not to lead a cell group.”

Instead of speaking the truth in love, at times persons in the Body of Christ opt for what I call “churchically-correct” responses, responses that seem easier, seem more acceptable, and that hide or evade the truth.

So why do some Believers opt for “churchically-correct” responses rather than speaking the truth in love?

I believe some common reasons are:

  • Not being comfortable expressing the truth to a particular person/persons.
  • Not being comfortable expressing the truth at a given time.
  • Not trusting the person/persons to hold an issue in confidence.
  • Concern that a truthful response may offend the other person/persons.
  • Fear of hurting the person/persons feelings.
  • Fear of disappointing a person/persons.
  • Fear of rejection.
  • Fear of conflict.
  • Fear of condemnation.
  • The desire to protect their spiritual image/reputation.
  • Being ashamed of the truth.
  • Not knowing how to speak the truth in love.

So what about you?

When faced with a question or a situation that requires your comment or opinion, do you speak the truth in love or opt for a “churchically-correct” response?

Think about it.

Now here’s some truth in love.

Whenever you or I opt for a “churchically-correct” response, we are lying.

Whenever we opt for a response that in our view seems easier and/or more acceptable, yet hides or evades the truth, we are lying.

Ouch!

According to the Word of God, we are to be truthful in our communications with each other.

Ephesians 4:15 states:

“Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).” (Amplified Bible)

Ephesians 4:25 states:

“Therefore, rejecting all falsity and being done now with it, let everyone express the truth with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one body and members one of another.” (Amplified Bible)

SELAH!

If faced with a situation where you prefer not to disclose your opinion or to comment on a matter, instead of coming up with a “churchically-correct” response/lie, perhaps you can say:-

“No offense, but I really prefer not to speak to that issue right now.”

“I can appreciate that you want my opinion, but truthfully, I’d rather not comment on that situation.”

“I understand your curiosity but honestly, that’s not an issue I would like to get involved with.”

Or if someone asks you how you are doing and you are not okay but do not want to disclose the details of your situation, instead of coming up with a “churchically-correct” response/lie, perhaps you can say:-

“Right now I am really being tested in some areas of my life, please remember me in prayer”

“All is not well but God is faithful”

“I don’t want to get into details at this time but I am really being challenged in my marriage/with my teenage daughter/by a situation in my workplace etc.”

There are many ways to speak the truth in love as opposed to giving a dishonest response.

It may take some time, learning, practice, and definitely commitment, but with the help of the Lord we can grow up in this area.

So, the next time you face a situation that requires a response, remember that as  Kingdom Ambassadors and representatives of Christ, we ought to speak the truth in love, to speak it respectfully, politely, clearly, honestly, and for the lasting good of those who hear us. 

Be encouraged!

Kim

Copyright © 2011 by Kim, Author of “Unwalled” Blog, All rights reserved.

Image courtesy of jscreationzs/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

WE NEED MORE “PEPP” TALK

WE NEED MORE PEPP TALK

We need more “PEPP” talk in the Body of Christ. 

“PEPP” talk? Yes, “PEPP” talk.

Talk for the purpose of Praise, Edification, Problem Solving or Prayer.

As Kingdom Ambassadors, God is calling us to a higher place in regard to our speech

Too many times the speech of Believers is characterized by gossip, slander, talebearing, backbiting, cursing, lying, flattering, boasting, exaggeration, negativity, complaining, dirty jokes, and whatever else God considers evil speech.

We need more “PEPP” talk. We need more conversations filled with:-

P – praise – speaking well of God and of others. 

E – edification – building up another, being an improving influence on another.

P – problem solving – working through details of a problem   to reach a solution, seeking to resolve or diffuse a situation as opposed to complicating it or adding more fuel to the fire.  

P – prayer – praying for and with others and about situations.

I challenge you to ask the Holy Spirit to swiftly convict you each time you start to say something that falls outside the parameters of “PEPP” talk or out of line with what the scriptures define as godly speech.

I challenge you to ask Him to make you extremely sensitive to His voice relative to the things that you say and the conversations that you get involved in and then obey Him when He speaks, even if He tells you to stop what you are saying or listening to mid-sentence.

I challenge you to remove yourself from or end any conversation that is not “PEPP” talk or that is out of line with what the scriptures define as godly speech.

Are you up to the challenge?

Do you need some incentive?

Well let the following scriptures about speech give you a jumpstart and incentive to go in the right direction.

Don’t just read them. Meditate on them, repeat them out loud, memorize them, and as you do this, ask the Lord to use them to transform your speech into what He desires it to be.

Psalm 19:14
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 34:12-13
Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.

Psalm 37:30
The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just.

Psalm 39:1
I said, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence.”

Psalm 40:10
I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly.

Psalm 64:2-3
Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from that noisy crowd of evildoers. They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim their words like deadly arrows.

Psalm 119:172
May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous.

Psalm 139:4
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.

Proverbs 8:13
To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.

Proverbs 10:18-20
He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool. When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value.

Proverbs 10:20-21
The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value. The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment.

Proverbs 10:31-32
The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be cut out. The lips of the righteous know what is fitting, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.

Proverbs 11:12-13
A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue. A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.

Proverbs 12:6
The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them.

Proverbs 12:22
The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful.

Proverbs 12:17-19
A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies. Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.

Proverbs 12:25
An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.

Proverbs 15:1-2
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.

Proverbs 15:4
The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.

Proverbs 15:28
The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.

Proverbs 16:13
Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value a man who speaks the truth.

Proverbs 16:24
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Proverbs 16:21
The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction

Proverbs 16:27-28
A scoundrel plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire. A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.

Proverbs 17:4
A wicked man listens to evil lips; a liar pays attention to a malicious tongue.

Proverbs 17:20
A man of perverse heart does not prosper; he whose tongue is deceitful falls into trouble.

Proverbs 17:28
Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.

Proverbs 18:13
He who answers before listening— that is his folly and his shame.

Proverbs 18:20-21
From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Proverbs 21:23
He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.

Proverbs 22:11
He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.

Proverbs 25:11-12
A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man’s rebuke to a listening ear.

Proverbs 26:24-25
A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but in his heart he harbors deceit. Though his speech is charming, do not believe him, for seven abominations fill his heart.

Proverbs 28:23
He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favor than he who has a flattering tongue.

Ecclesiastes 5:2-4
Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words. When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow.

Isaiah 50:4
The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.

Matthew 5:22
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother[a]will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Matthew 15:8
‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

1 Corinthians 2:13
This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.

2 Corinthians 8:7
But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us —see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

Ephesians 4:15
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.

Ephesians 4:25
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

Ephesians 4:26
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,

Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Ephesians 5:19
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,

Colossians 4:6
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Colossians 3:8
But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

Colossians 3:16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

1 Timothy 4:12
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

Titus 2:7-8
In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

James 1:19-20
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

James 1:26
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

James 3:5
Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.

James 3:6
The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

James 3:9-12
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

1 Peter 3:9-11
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.

1 John 3:18
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

Fellow Kingdom Ambassadors, we need more “PEPP” talk in the Body of Christ.

We need more conversation that is in line with what the scriptures define as godly speech. 

Let’s take up the challenge. With hearts surrendered to the will of God, the help of the Holy Spirit, and determined persistence until breakthrough, we can do it!!!

Shalom!

Kim

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved