Christian Rules of Speech

Sermon Text:  James 3:1-12 & Matthew 12:33-37

James warns us not to underestimate the power of speech. “The tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits,” says James. It can be very creative or very destructive. We live in an age of fake news, alternative facts, and incivility. “Every species of beast has been tamed by humans,” says James, “but no one can tame the tongue.” If you squeeze toothpaste out of a tube, once the toothpaste comes out you can’t put it back in. Just so with words: once they come out of our mouth we can’t put them back in. Once they’re said we can’t un-say them. Therefore, Jesus warns us in Matthew, “On the day of judgment you will have to give an account of every careless word you utter. For by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned.” And Paul advises, “Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear.” How do we do that? How do we speak in a Christ-like way? I’d like to mention seven rules of Christian speech today. Taken together they provide helpful guidance in our use of language....Read full sermon here (PDF)