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|Posted on September 26, 2016 at 2:30 PM||comments (0)|
Session 5 – 1 Peter 3:10-12 – Living in a Relationship – Day 5 - TAME THAT TONGUE
1 Peter 3:10 For the one who wants to love life and to see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit, 11 and he must turn away from evil and do what is good. He must seek peace and pursue it, 12 because the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their request. But the face of the Lord is against those who do what is evil.
NIV Study Notes:
3:10–12 Peter introduces this quotation from Ps 34 with the explanatory conjunction “for,” showing that he views the quotation as giving reasons for obeying the exhortation of v. 9. According to the psalmist, (1) those who do such things will find life to be most gratifying (v. 10), (2) their days will be good (v. 10), (3) God’s eyes will ever be on them to bless them (v. 12) and (4) God’s ears will be ready to hear their prayer (v. 12).
Peter quotes from Psalm 34:11-18. You may want to read the Psalm in its entirety to get a context for the passage.
I think we all would like to live long and have an enjoyable life. What is the first thing the psalmist (David) tells us we must do in order to have these? We must refrain from evil and lying speech in order to, as Spock would say, “live long and prosper.” Those who want to love life (here and now) must first of all live honestly in control of their tongues. In fact, James teaches that all our observance of religious ritual and seeming piety is not worth much if our tongue is out of control.
James 1:26 (VOICE) VOICE If you put yourself on a pedestal, thinking you have become a role model in all things religious, but you can’t control your mouth, then think again. Your mouth exposes your heart, and your religion is useless.
James 1:26 (AMPC) If anyone thinks himself to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person’s religious service is worthless (futile, barren).
Is it easy to control the tongue, to avoid hurtful words and falseness? No, absolutely not. I believe as we try to control the tongue, we see how well (or not well) we exemplify the fruit of the Spirit called self-control. I think you hit the nail on the head. Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. We cannot control our tongue unless the Holy Spirit dwells in us and we submit to His urgings regarding what we say. James does acknowledge the challenge of harnessing our words:
James 3:3-5 (HCSB) Now when we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we also guide the whole animal. 4 And consider ships: Though very large and driven by fierce winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how large a forest a small fire ignites.
A small bit of gossip can wound many people. A “little white lie” can turn into a big fat problem. We’ve been talking about relationships. How does yielding our speech to the Spirit help us to have better relationships that glorify God? Spirit-led speech is King of kings led speech. The Spirit is not going to say or embrace anything that the Father would not take pleasure in. Spirit-led words will encourage and build up rather than discourage and tear down.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (HCSB) Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.
Next we are told to have a hatred for sin and a desire to run the marathon, the lifelong journey to pursue peace. In other words, we must flee evil and blaze a trail for peace.
Romans 12:17-18 (NASB) Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
We cannot control the other person’s response in any situation. However, we can pursue peace with them whether they return that attitude or not.
As we have seen before, failing to obey God in our earthly relationships can hinder our ability to hear from the Lord. The opposite is also true. When we are allowing the Spirit to guide us in our relationships with people, we will experience a more intimate relationship with God as well. Then we will enjoy a more rewarding life this side of Heaven.
Challenge: Think before opening your mouth (three fingers pointing back at me, for sure). Pray before speaking. Does that biting comment really need to be said? Is there a way to correct a person without tearing them down? Slow down long enough to ask the Lord the best way to approach a person. Value your brothers and sisters in Christ and seek to encourage them.