Words are very powerful and what you say can cause great harm or do wonderful things for a person’s soul (Proverbs 15:4). Think about all the times you have heard someone say something that made you feel bad about yourself. Or about the times you’ve said something that made someone else feel bad. Despite what people may say, words can hurt. Words can also lead others astray.

Now, let’s look at the other side of the coin. Words can also build others up and strengthen them. Think about the times you’ve received positive words from others and how they made you feel. How about the times that you have said positive words to others and how it made them feel? Words have a lot of power to build others up.

Therefore, reign your tongue. Be careful of what you say and how you say it. The tongue is a fire set by hell(James 3:6). You are a Christian and need to be a good representation of Christ. The words you say literally have the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21).

Keep that in mind when you are speaking. When you use your words carelessly, it can damage your testimony and hinder your ability to reach others for Christ. Choose your words wisely and always speak with love! Working on encouraging others and building them up rather than tearing them down (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

Referenced Verses:
Matthew 18:6
Mark 9:42
Proverbs 26:20
James 1:26
James 4:11
James 3:6


Video Transcript

Hello and welcome to Social Media Ministries, my name is Spencer Coffman. Thank you for tuning in today. If this is your first time here please check out the subscribe button and the bell icon below, click on them to be notified for future videos. Now if this isn’t your first time here I hope that you are considering sharing these videos with others, using those share icons below.

The reason is because Social Media Ministries is founded on the mission that it is our hope to share the Gospel, the living Word of Christ, with as many people as possible through the use of social media. Now we cannot reach all people on social media without your help, so you play an integral part of helping us complete this mission.

Today we have a great message for you, we are going to get right into it. How often do you listen to other people and they are talking about someone or they are gossiping or they are saying things behind someone’s back and you might be sitting there and you have got a few things to say, so all right, yeah so and so, I really don’t like it when they do this or they are nuts or this or that, or they are talking about these things and you participate in that.

Now sometimes this could go a little too far, other times maybe it is simply a conversation with your friend and it is about a behavior that a person does. There is a difference between talking about something that bothers you or that is off about someone, and gossiping about that same thing. So I am going to go into the difference because it is a fine line. It is a very fine line and it also is very important that you do not cross that line.

What is the solution? The solution is really to not do any of it at all. Even though that is very very difficult. We are going to go into this and I am going to give you a few ways to help you not engage in any of that at all. Let’s start out with this, basically as a Christian, you need to be very very careful of the things that you say.

You need to remember that you are representing Christ, you are a Christian. It is exactly like if you work somewhere and you are in your work uniform and they say, hey we don’t want you smoking in your working uniform, we don’t want you out at the bar drinking in your work uniform, we don’t even want you filling up your pump or filling up your tank at the pumps at the gas station in your work uniform. Why? Because when you are wearing that uniform, you are a representation of our company and we have a certain image we want to uphold.

All right, now as a Christian, you are a representative of Christ. If you think your company is strict, the standards are way up here, we are all going to fall short, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. So you are going to fall short no matter what, but we don’t need to intentionally fall short, try to be more up here, try to meet the standards of God.

What does that mean? Well as a Christian you need to be a great example and a witness to other people, not simply by spreading Christ and talking about Him. That is a great way to witness to someone. But also by the things that you do every single day, simply walking into a grocery store and being filled with the light.

Remember our sermon on be hot, you can check it out in a card here, if you are listening on the podcast you just have to go back to the early episodes. Be hot is about how you need to be on fire for Christ and you are really the light, you are a part of Christ and you need to shine in your area wherever you are.

So allow the light of Christ to fill you and let other people recognize it, they may not know exactly what is going on but they are going to see that there is something in your life that they don’t have and they are going to want it. Or if they are filled with evil they are going to hate it and then they are going to attack you, and that is just going to be part of your suffering, part of your trials to build perseverance that help you become strong in your faith.

As a Christian, you need to be a good example. You are literally leading by example whether you know it or not. So if you start engaging in gossip and someone else sees that they are going to be like, well I guess there is nothing different between me and them because I gossip and so do they, so why would I be a Christian? That is not good if you are starting to mislead other people, that is horrible, that is a very very bad thing that a lot of us don’t even comprehend. Now this includes things like swearing, talking bad about other people, you need to reign in your tongue.

Okay, so let’s start out if there is a scenario, and you are talking bad about someone or something happens in your life and now you are swearing and you have filthy language, you need to reign that in. Why is this important? Well because like I said, as a Christian you are an example to others. Your behavior needs to be a cut above.

There used to be a saying about the Catholics, how they are men of the cloth. They need to be better and now with all this horrible stuff in the catholic church over the past years and decades of all these uncoverings of the Vatican and how the priests are involved in child molestations and how the Vatican could have ordered killings and all these crazy things, people are really thinking that there is nothing special, there is nothing different. That is bad.

We need to be different, you need to show that you are, that if someone looks at your life and they say wow this person never swears, they are never talking bad about someone, anytime something bad happens they are never too distraught about it, they just kind of roll with the punches and move on. That they are never super upset, they don’t seem to get in trouble, they are really living a great life and how can I do that? Why is my life falling apart and it just seems that they always have everything together?

That needs to be you. Even though it may not feel like it is you, there could be all kinds of stuff going on, it is just how well you deal with it and it is not you dealing with it, it is you allowing God to deal with it and trusting Him. If you start engaging in gossip or if you start letting your tongue get the better of you and swearing and everything, this could cause you to mislead others which leads you down a bad path. It will also lead them down a bad path so you have two sins, not to mention the sin of gossip, of swearing or filthy language, but then you have another sin of leading someone else astray.

We are going to turn to Matthew, so if you have your Bible open it up with me Matthew 18:6, it says, ‘But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin.’ So if you lead someone else astray, this is Jesus talking, if you are swearing and someone else then puts two and two together and says, oh it must be okay for me to swear or to cuss someone out, or to call someone names or it must be okay for me to gossip about someone. If you lie and then someone else says, oh it must be okay to lie.

This is very good with parenting if you are leading someone astray, whether it is your child, someone else, or another child. ‘If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.’

What is a millstone? A millstone is like one of these big, big wheels that was in a flower mill and it ground up everything or like an olive press or think of something big, I mean you could even think of a tombstone because you are going to be drowned in the depths of the sea. These things are heavy. That is the point. Hung around your neck, not like with a rope and you can pull out your pocket knife and I am good, no it is on you and you are in the depths of the sea, you are not coming up.

If you lead someone astray, Jesus says it would be better for you to have the stone around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea, this is Jesus, this is pretty serious. Write it down, don’t lead others astray. How can we not do that? We need to avoid leading other people astray. How are you going to avoid that? We are going to do one more verse, Mark 9:42. ‘And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.’

Similar comparison, different author, basically don’t lead others astray. Moving on, not to mention if you gossip and you lead someone astray, the sin of gossip. How do we know gossip is wrong? Well, we are gonna turn to another verse to support our point. This is Proverbs, Solomon here, we are gonna go to Proverbs 26 verse 20 which says, ‘Without wood, a fire goes out, without gossip a quarrel dies down.’

There is something going on, maybe it is at work, something wrong with another employee, I hate how this person never works, how they never do this. That is fine, you are expressing that you don’t like this. That is the line, if you cross that line when it becomes something more, they must have something wrong with them, they must be a terrible person, do you see the way that they dress, they smell funny, they are very ugly, I don’t like how their hair is always like this, now you are attacking the person.

It is always like that, saying don’t hate the player, hate the game, or whatever other variation of that line is. I don’t like it how this person never picks up after themselves or puts anything back when they are done, that is it, that is the action, don’t hate the sinner hate the sin.

That is the line, write it down, don’t hate the sinner hate the sin. If you hate the sin and whether it is a sin or not, they are not putting something back when they are done with it, well that is not a sin, but it applies in this concept. Hate that action, don’t hate them. Don’t gossip about them, don’t make it personal, don’t cross the line. That is the line. Hate the sin, not the sinner. Hate the sin, not the sinner.

That is number two. Don’t lead others astray, hate the sin, not the sinner. What are you gonna do to correct that? Well, you have made it known that you hate the sin, tell the sinner hey I don’t like it when x y z, that is it. If you are telling other people about it fine, but if you are telling all these other people about it and you never address the problem with the person, it will never get fixed. That is how gossip starts. Stop the gossip.

‘Without wood, a fire dies down, without gossip there is no quarrel.’ What is a quarrel? An argument, problems stirring up dissension. You stir all that up by continually talking about it with everyone else rather than addressing it with the person. So if you do this and other people then think it is okay because these other people you might be talking with might not be Christians, you are leading them astray, problem number one and you are also gossiping about someone else, problem two, sinning twice.

Reign in your tongue, be like Jesus, sin less. We are gonna go to James. James is an excellent book. We are gonna spend the remainder of this message in James so turn with me there. Again if you don’t have your Bibles check this out later, the verses will be referenced in the description below. ‘Therefore those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight reign on their tongues deceive themselves and their religion is worthless.’ This is James 1:26.

If you consider yourself a person of faith and you don’t keep a tight rein on your tongue, your religion is worthless. Why is your religion worthless? Because you are not modeling your religion, you believe in Jesus, Jesus would never say horrible things about other people.

I mean He does say some things but they are not bad about other people. If someone does this it would be better for them to be thrown in the depths of the sea or when he was speaking about the Pharisees and he calls them a brood of vipers or they are like whitewashed tombs that look good on the outside but they are filled with decaying bones on the inside, that is a pretty serious thing to say about someone.

How was He doing it? Was He attacking the person for something they do or was he attacking what they stand for and what they are doing wrong? He is convicting them rather than judging or rather than gossiping, He is talking to the person. If there is someone that you have a problem with, bring it up with them in a nice way, bring it up like Jesus would bring it up.

Don’t go around calling for someone, hey you are a whitewashed tomb, no you are not gonna do that, they are not going to get it. You are going to bring things on them with love and compassion, with the intent to help them. Overcome the issue not simply to point out how bad they are or what they are doing wrong, that is the difference.

‘If you don’t keep a tight rein on your tongue you are deceiving yourself and your religion is worthless.’ You need to model up here what you believe. James is telling you that if you call yourself a Christian and you are spreading gossip or rumors then you are fooling yourself, you are not behaving like a Christian would behave, your religion is worthless because you don’t follow it.

Not because it doesn’t have value, it is worthless because you are not following it so it is worth nothing to you. You are not displaying it. You are not practicing what you preach, what you believe in. Be who you claim to be, be a Christian.

James 4:11 says, ‘Brothers do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.’ You say what in the world does that mean? Basically do not slander one another. Do not talk bad about other people. If you talk bad about someone else you are speaking against the law. What is the law that he is referring to? It is the Bible.

You are speaking against what Jesus laid down for you to follow. When you speak against that you are pretty much rejecting whatever God told you to do and you are judging it as not good because it is not something you want to follow. This is a problem, so don’t speak against other people.

How can we not do this? Well remember there is that line, attack or speak against the sin, not the sinner. By speaking against the sin you are going to do it in a corrective manner, you are going to bring it up to someone with kindness and compassion and if they are receptive you can help them correct it, if not you need to move away. Trust God and allow God to work on that person. It is not your job to fix them. It is not your job to tell other people how frustrated you are with them.

Then what is it? Keep silent. That is how. That is how it is. Not like you can get close to the edge and never go off because the more times you get close to the edge you are going to get more comfortable with that line, pretty soon you are going to start pushing the line, then you are going to be over the line. Now your line is going to be over here when really it is back here, don’t even flirt with danger, just reign in your tongue. That is it.

Don’t engage in any gossip. If someone asks. Starts engaging, in rumors or gossip, you can say you know what I don’t really like to talk about other people behind their back. Done. Oh, you think you are better than we are? I didn’t say that, I just don’t want to engage in that behavior. We are not good enough for whatever their argument is, you don’t need to defend yourself on it, just say what I have said I am not going to do that, I am not going to do it about you, I wouldn’t want someone doing it about me so I am not going to do it about them. End of conversation.

Let them think whatever they want, they think that you think you are better than they are, leave it be, don’t worry about it. Just don’t engage in the behavior, that is the simplest way to not cross the line. You need to follow Christ, be like Him. Follow the example that He set. Simply don’t go there. That is it.

James 3:6, one more verse, it says, ‘The tongue is also a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body, it corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire and itself is set on fire by hell.’ This little piece of our body, the tongue, is a fire. The things we say can cut a person deep, it can ruin lives, it can lead others astray, if you do so it would be better for you to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

Reign in your tongue. Watch your language, your speech, let positive things come from your mouth, let the light shine through your tongue, reign it in. Gossip is bad enough, how do you stop doing gossip? Don’t even go there. Yes, if there is something that bothers you, rather than bringing it up with everyone else, bring it up with the person. In doing so you could help them correct, you would also be a good example for those other people and perhaps you would lead not only that person to being better, but you would also maybe lead all these other people to be better because they see the light that you have within you. So reign in your tongue, lead others with example, exactly like Jesus.

Let’s pray. Jesus thank you so much for this message today. Thank you for each and every person listening or watching. I ask that you would be able to help them reign in their tongues, that no matter what happens in their life, they would have clean and pure speech. That if they have an issue with swearing or filthy language that even though those words are earthly words and it might not be a big deal or it might just be a part of speech, it is not something that as Christians we want to model. We want to have pure and good speech, so allow them to have that in their minds at all times. That Lord I ask that you would convict them that your spirit would convict them and help them change. That goes for each and every one of us, myself included.

Lord, I pray that prayer and I pray that each and every one of them are also asking for the same thing. Together we can unite and become a big light across the world. Lord, I also ask that each and every one of these people would remember that it is not the person that they don’t like, that they would hate the sin and not the sinner, and that they would bring up the sin to each other nicely with kindness and compassion. That they could be a light and lead others by example. That they would be a good representation of what it means to be a Christian. Lord, I ask all of this in your holy name. Amen.

If you have any questions and comments and want to discuss anything, please comment below. In addition, I hope that you help us out completing our mission and share this video or this podcast with other people. Wherever you are watching, wherever you are listening, share this on your social media. Help us out and again if you haven’t subscribed do that please, if you haven’t liked the video and you do like the video, click on the like button below so that others can see this message and hopefully learn to rein in their tongues as well. God bless.