Killer Words

“Kind words do not cost much.  Yet they accomplish much.” -Blaise Pascal

Neon words

We’ve all put our foot in our mouth at some point.  Careless, unwise, and quickly spoken words can destroy families, churches, and even communities. The tongue is a very small (2 oz) part of our bodies, but can be extremely dangerous and destructive. Our culture has 2 extremes in regards to the tongue…political correctness on one end…and no filter-ness on the other. When we choose our words wisely we find a biblical balance between the two.

A big problem with our tongues is that they are inconsistent.  One person prays before a meal and then gossips while they eat.  A parent says loving words to a child but uses harsh words with their spouse just moments later. Do you kiss your mom with that mouth?  Our tongues aren’t only inconsistent…they are deadly.

James cautions us, in James 3:1-18, to use words of wisdom and gentleness.

James 3:5-6 says,  “… the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how large a forest a small fire ignites. And the tongue is a fire.“

The truth is, we can’t control our own tongues.  We need the power and wisdom of God in our lives as we face daily relationship challenges.  Consider these principles based on what we find in James 3.

  • Examine your speech.  When it’s not right…repent.  Ask God to reveal the outcome of your words, not only what you mean or don’t mean to communicate. Use words that are understanding, pure, build peace, gentle, loving, and full of mercy.
  • House Cleaning.  Invite God to clean your heart. Ps. 51:15 “O Lord, open my lips, That my mouth may declare Your praise.”  On some level, we all need heart surgery.  The mouth speaks out of the overflow of the heart (Matt:12:24).  Ask the good doctor for an examination.
  • Switch Seats. James 3:8 says that no person can tame the tongue.  The good news is…God, through His Spirit, can!  If we switch seats and transfer control to the Holy Spirit, our words filter through Him.  The rudder drives the ship, but the captain controls the rudder.  When we switch seats…we reflect Him.

When we make the decision to speak words filled with wisdom and gentleness, God is glorified.  Three good questions to ask before speaking are…

  • Will my words show God’s grace? The words from the mouth of a wise man are gracious“ (Ecc. 10:12a).
  • Will my words bring healing? The tongue of the wise brings healing” (Prov. 12:18b).
  • Will my words give life? “Life and death are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21a).

Your words have the power to build up or to destroy.  It’s our choice.  When has your life been changed by wise and gentle words?

Fearful in a Scary World

The Lord is my light and salvation; whom shall I fear?  Psalm 27:1


As I watched the news today, I began to become fearful about events going on around the world.  Freedom is being threatened in Hong Kong, the Ebola virus seems to be out of control in west Africa, children across america are contracting Enterovirus that is paralyzing and in some cases causing death, and war in the middle-east.  All of these events are scary and things seem to be getting worse.  Will there ever be an end?  It’s enough to cause great fear for the future of our country and world.  What can we do?

We need to keep in mind that God is still on His throne and in control.  He always has been and He always will be.  In all things He has a purpose in either causing or allowing things to take place.  He is never taken by surprise or caught off guard.  But when our personal “world” is crumbling around us, it’s oftentimes difficult to remember but essential that we do.

We must also keep in mind that God loves us with perfect love and has promised that everything (good and seemingly bad)  that touches our lives will work together for His glory and our benefit (Rom. 8:28).  Jesus was tortured and killed was horrible; but God allowed it and caused it to work for the salvation of the whole world!  Also, we are living in the “last days” before Jesus returns to the earth for His people.  While that’s exciting to think about, it also means that the world is going to get worse and worse as it is being prepared to embrace the Antichrist.

As we live in this scary world, we are to keep on living for Jesus day by day.  We are to keep on loving our families, entrusting them to God.  We should make plans for the future, but we met trust God for that future because He holds it in His hands.  As the world becomes more scary by the day, we must never stop fighting against the enemy in the strength of the Holy Spirit.

We don’t have to be fearful.  God has promised never to leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13:5).  He holds us in His hand (John 10:28-30) and nothing can remove us from His hand or separate us from His love (Rom 8:39-39).  As an old pilot once said, “When days seem darkest because of the clouds, the sun is still shining.  We just have to climb up higher to be able to see it.  May we climb higher each day as we desire to let Him live through us and bring glory to His name (Gal. 2:20). His perfect love will cast out any fear we have (1 John 4:18)

No Regrets

In considering the direction of my life, I know what God has called me to do above all else….love God and love people.  Through that calling, there are some things in my life that have had a significant impact on the person that I am today.  God has rocked my world and molded me through generosity, community, my family, my past experiences both in America and in China, and my personal leadership journey.
If we want to live a life of NO REGRETS, we are going to have to be intentional about what we do and don’t do.  Here is my list of creating that life.

Be Generous
Give your time, talents, and treasures. Nobody regrets being generous. Even when your generosity isn’t well received, thanked, or noticed the act of generosity changes you as much as it changes others.

Join a small group
You will have less “free” time in your life, more burdens to bear, more mess to wade through, and more people to pray for. Life will be tougher. But you won’t regret joining a small group, because you’ll have people to journey through life with.

Recognize that laughter is a gift from God. You’ll grow more spiritually with a group of people that you enjoy being around than ones you dread meeting with.

Spend time with your family
Your family will never say they wish that you’d spent less time with them. Time with your family is not time wasted.

Drink good coffee
Life is too short for bad coffee. And when you have people over to your house, serve the good stuff! All coffee is not created equal.

Make church a priority
No church is perfect, but being where God’s people gather to worship and celebrate the work of God is healing and life-giving.

Become a leader
Wherever you are in life, leadership is playing a significant role. Continually focus on your personal leadership development.

Go on mission trips
My life was turned upside down (in a good way) through mission trips. Whether you go on a trip out of your country or across state lines, you won’t regret the time away from work or the money it cost you to get there.

Invest in kids
When you invest in kids, you are investing in the life of the Church. For today and tomorrow.