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?

Is ANY Job Too Small?!

As our Creative Arts Pastor, Matt McFadden, was talking with us the other day, we discussed how critically important our volunteers are! Without you there is no way we could impact the world around us for Jesus. No matter what church you come from, it is a body of volunteers who are serving their savior.  Matt wrote this post about one of the volunteers in his ministry and we wanted to share it with you!

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“It’s such an incredible thought to me that God involves people like you and me in His kingdom work. He has commissioned you and what’s amazing is that YOU ARE qualified for the job! Not because of what you’ve done but because of what HE has done for you!

The other day I began to think about a friend of mine named Eric. Eric moved to GA from Florida, He told me that he needed a change of scenery and a fresh start. When I met Eric he didn’t have a relationship with Christ but told me that he had questions and that he knew that following Christ was what he needed to do. So many conversations with different people and many weeks later he trusted Christ for his salvation!

His story got me thinking about all the ‘touch points’ that got Eric to his decision about Christ. Think about this…Eric pulled into SouthCrest Church for a ‘first time.’  Someone had to wake up early, before the sun is up early, put out traffic cones and parking signs. Another person had to wear a not-so-fashionable orange vest and carry a green flashing light sometimes in the cold and sometimes in the rain. With a smile someone else directed Eric to a parking spot. Then another person opened a church door and greeted him with a warm ‘good morning’. Another group of people served Eric at the Café, then someone else greeted him at the worship center doors and handed him a connect card. Once in the worship center, someone directed him to a seat where a lighting guy has already set the perfect lighting scene for the beginning of the service. A sound tech has the pre-service music running and two people in the production room had ‘The Weekly’ video on the screens so everyone can know what’s going on at SouthCrest that week. Service begins and our backstage directors cue the musicians to take the stage. This band consists of at least two guitar players, singers, a bass player, drummer, and keyboard player. Then, at the right moment, Pastor Jeff preaches a message. After the  message connect cards are gathered, information is entered, prayer requests prayed over, and a staff member connects.

As you can see, it takes a big team to create this environment at SouthCrest. This doesn’t even include all of our volunteers in the children’s areas that are creating an awesome place for our kids or all the LifeGroup leaders, High school and middle school leaders,  Lay counselors…so on and so on.  Each one of these volunteer positions are very important and they each play a part in creating a runway to Jesus. I believe that even the parking team plays a part in getting someone to Jesus. We are many members and one body. There is overwhelming joy when we serve Jesus with the thought that “What I’m doing is creating an environment where people feel welcome and can meet with Jesus!!” So what am I saying? I’m saying that you should get involved in serving the church!! Lets get people to Jesus!! Share a small part in the stories of changed lives by Jesus!

1 Corinthians 3:5-9 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

Thank You Matt! We love and respect you! I pray that as leaders in God’s Kingdom you urge your groups and spheres of influence to serve God so that more people like Eric can meet Christ!