Creative Speaking?

Jerry Bridges

 

‘Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.’  Ephesians 4:29 ESV

God spoke in creation, and he spoke in judgement, and he spoke in redemption, and now he sends us to speak the gospel in his name. That we still speak corruption as well as blessing to one another is evidence of the sin that remains in us; to what degree we speak these things, Jesus said, tells a story of its own. This final brief post on the theme of Our Speak-able Sins also comes from Jerry Bridges…

Jerry Bridges wrote: “We not only sin in our speech about one another but we also sin when talking to one another. This sinful speech includes harsh words, sarcasm, insults, and ridicule. The common denominator of all these forms of negative speech is that they tend to put down, humiliate, or hurt the other person. This type of speech most often comes from an attitude of impatience or anger. Jesus said, ‘Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks’ (Matthew 12:34).

“This means that although we speak of sins of the tongue, our real problem is our heart. Behind all our gossip, slander, critical speech, insults, and sarcasm is our sinful heart. The tongue is only the instrument that reveals what is in our hearts.”

From Jerry Bridges in Respectable Sins.

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Just between us?

Jerry Bridges

‘Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.’ Ephesians 4:29 ESV

J. O. Sanders was a General Director of Overseas Missionary Fellowship. After retirement, he became a noted conference speaker internationally and his books on the Christian life are still relevant today. I remember him best from a conference in the ‘70’s. His fine expositions of scripture were coloured with personal reminiscences from years of ministry and family life. For example, he shared the way his own mother dealt with a gossipy neighbor, a woman who spoke badly of another. Mrs. Sanders listened, then (quite heroically I think) said, ‘Is that so? Come with me now, dear, and let’s talk to her about it.’ This second of three brief posts on the theme of Our Speak-able Sins also comes from Jerry Bridges…

Jerry Bridges wrote: Let’s begin with … gossip. Gossip is the spreading of unfavorable information about someone else, even if that information is true. However, gossip is often based on rumor, which makes the sin even worse. Indulging in gossip seems to feed our sinful ego, especially when the information we’re passing along is negative. It makes us feel self-righteous by comparison.

“And then there are those times when we disguise our gossip as, ‘I want to share this with you for your prayers.’ If we know something negative about someone, we should pray about it. But we should not spread around the bad news.”

From Jerry Bridges in Respectable Sins.

 

‘Speak-able’ Sins?

Jerry Bridges
‘Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.’  Ephesians 4:29 ESV

‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’, we children used to say. It wasn’t true then, and it still isn’t now, when the hurt we cause, as much as the hurt we feel, the pain of the words we speak to one another, has its roots deeper down, in our sin. This first of three brief posts on the theme of Our Speak-able Sins comes from Jerry Bridges…

Jerry Bridges wrote: “The Bible is replete with warnings against sins of the tongue. The book of Proverbs alone contains about sixty such warnings. Jesus warned that we will give account for every careless word we speak (see Matthew 12:36). And then there is that well-known passage in James 3 where he speaks of the sinful effects of the tongue. He likens those effects to a small fire that sets the forest ablaze…

“The passage of Scripture that has helped me most to deal with the sins of the tongue, however, is Ephesians 4:29 (above) … ‘corrupting talk’ is not limited to profanity or obscene speech… Note Paul’s absolute prohibition. No corrupting talk. None whatsoever. This means no gossip, no sarcasm, no critical speech, no harsh words. All of these sinful words that tend to tear down another person must be put out of our speech. Think about what the church of Jesus Christ would look like if we all sought to apply Paul’s words.”

From Jerry Bridges in Respectable Sins.

A World of Choice?

Jerry Bridges

 

As a boy I would spend hours looking at colorful catalogues of model trains; the engines, carriages, miniature mountains, trees, buildings (and people) that might make up little worlds for me to control. I am sorry to admit that this very ‘worldly’ attitude has not altogether left me yet. What hope is there for someone like me? This final brief post on the theme of worldliness comes from Jerry Bridges.

 

Jerry Bridges wrote: “How then can we deal with our tendencies toward worldliness? It is not by determining that we will not be worldly but by committing ourselves to becoming more godly. We need to grow in our relationship with Him and begin to view all aspects of life through the lens of His glory. In the nineteenth century, a Scottish minister, Thomas Chalmers, preached a sermon called, ‘The Expulsive Power of a New Affection.’ That’s what we need to combat our worldliness. We need an increased affection for God that will expel from our hearts our affections for the things of this world.”
From Jerry Bridges in Respectable Sins – Confronting the Sins We Tolerate.

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.   Colossians 3:1-2 ESV

Going Along to Get Along?

Jerry Bridges
We really don’t need to worry that we will ever be ‘too heavenly minded to be of any earthly use’. The more the minds of Christians are shaped by heaven, (
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus… Philippians 2:4-5 ESV) the more useful we will be, to God, and to the world; the better we will be able to love God, and our neighbor, too. This first of three brief posts on the theme of worldliness, comes from Jerry Bridges…

Jerry Bridges writes… “Now let me review my twofold definition of worldliness. First of all, it’s a preoccupation with the things of this temporal life. Second, it’s accepting and going along with the values and practices of society around us without discerning if they are biblical. I believe the key to our tendencies toward worldliness lies primarily in the two words going along. We simply go along with and accept the values and practices of society around us without thought as to whether those values and practices are biblical.

“That’s why Christian young women will wear immodest dress. They simply go along with the styles others are wearing without stopping to think whether or not those styles are pleasing to God. And there is nothing overtly sinful in sports themselves. But if we simply go along with others around us, we can end up making an idol of our favourite team.”

From Jerry Bridges in Respectable Sins – Confronting the Sins We Tolerate