Not Stumbling In Our Words

Not Stumbling In Our Words

The Bible tells us something rather surprising in James 3—that the person who does not stumble in word is a perfect man or woman.  This person is one who is able to control everything about themselves.  Wow!

For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body.  (Jas 3:2-3, emphasis added

Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.  (Ps 34:13)

Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.  (Pro 16:24)

The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook.  (Pro 18:4)

“He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit.”  (1 Pet 3:10)

Controlling our words is one of the most difficult things for human beings.  As 1 Peter 3 reminds us, we should refrain from speaking evil.  Do you know that “speaking evil” means some different things to God?  It means:

  • Saying anything that is less than 100% true;
  • Repeating gossip—even if it’s true;
  • Agreeing with other people who spread lies or say unpleasant things;
  • Saying negative or bad things about ourselves;
  • Repeating negative things;
  • Speaking anything that does not agree with God’s Word.

It surprises people to realize that even if they say something negative about themselves, it is unpleasing to God.  God wants us to agree with what HE says about each one of us.  He says that His children are:

  • Fearfully and wonderfully made,  (Ps 139:14)
  • His special treasure, (Ps 135:4)
  • The apple of His eye, (Zech 2:8)
  • Chosen and dearly loved, (1 Pet 2:4)
  • Given His approval, (1 Thes 2:4) and
  • Accepted in Jesus. (Eph 1:6)

From this list, we can understand that the Lord loves us and has said many wonderful things concerning His children—those who love Him and obey Him.  Since our words proceed from our thoughts, a key Scripture to meditate upon regularly is:

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.  (Phil 4:8)

As we think about God’s blessings and meditate upon His Words, our own words will begin to change and will correspond to what the Scripture has to say about everything.  God bless you!

Stumble?

Stumble?

Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble.  (Ps 119:165)

What does “stumble” mean as used in the Bible? 

It means:  1) to err; to slide into a crime or an error; 2) to have a moral failing; or 3) to place a blockage in someone’s way causing them to sin.

As the verse in Psalm 119 above says, when we have the peace that Jesus has given to us and we love God’s Word, then nothing has the power to cause us to sin.  Hallelujah!

My son, let them not depart from your eyes—keep sound wisdom and discretion; 22 so they will be life to your soul and grace to your neck.  23 Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble. (Prov 3:21-23)

As we keep the wisdom and discretion that comes from reading and memorizing God’s Word in our hearts, those words are life itself to our souls.  They provide grace to our behavior and character; they give us strength and sure-footedness.  And they prevent us from stumbling.

He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.  (1 Joh 2:10)

When we love our brothers and sisters in Christ, we live in the light where all of our actions are open to view.  And in our actions, as we live for Christ and serve the Kingdom of God, there will be nothing for someone to see as an invitation or a cause to sin.  This is just one of the many blessings that living a holy life, committed to serving Jesus Christ gives to us.  Thank You, Lord!

Sharing Our Burdens

Sharing Our Burdens

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.  (Gal 6:2 NIV)  It’s our duty as believers to help bear each others’ burdens.

For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  (Gal 5:13-14 NKJV)

The first person with whom we share our burdens, after receiving Christ as our Savior, is with the Lord Jesus.  He truly removes our burdens by removing all of our sins, and by continuously cleansing us from unrighteousness.

The troubles in this life are diverse and seem unrelenting at times. In the midst of pressure and heartaches of various kinds, people can stumble.  Even devout followers of Christ may worry and grieve over their circumstances—to the point of feeling crushed by them.  This is why it is so very necessary for Christians to help one another with their burdens, problems and cares.

An important side note is to remember to guard our hearts and minds when supporting another person or family through difficulties so that we’ll remain nonjudgmental and humble. 

We can’t always remove the stressful circumstance, but we can always provide support to our brothers and sisters in Christ. This can be done in practical ways, as well as through spiritual approaches. 

PRACTICAL METHODS

We can offer to help the brother/sister by running errands or babysitting.  If prompted by the Lord, we can give a gift of cash.  It’s considerate to phone the person or couple who’s in stress several times a week to let them know that we’re thinking of them, praying for them, and that we care about them.  Take the person or the family out to lunch or dinner to give them a temporary relief from the stress.  Or you can be more real by inviting them to your own home for a meal.  Depending upon the nature of the trial a friend is undergoing, we can be sensitive to practical things that we can do to relieve some measure of pressure from their daily walk.  If an emergency requires long-distance travel and the person can’t afford their ticket, we can help them to raise the money as the Lord leads us.

SPIRITUAL WAYS

We should pray faithfully for the brother or sister (or family) that is experiencing challenging circumstances.  Enlist other believers to join you in praying for the person or family in crisis.  From time to time, we can send an encouraging greeting card to our brother or sister, and mention an uplifting Scripture verse in a note.  We might make an appointment with our Pastor to inquire if there is any project or fundraising plan that the Church members might undertake that would assist the person or family who is in distress.  We can do some research to see if there are organizations or programs available that could assist the person or family who is in trouble.  If anything appropriate is discovered, we should give them the information. 

Showing our heartfelt concern and support for a person or family who is experiencing stress of any form is a loving, godly, biblical way to bear one another’s burdens. It is also obeying the Scripture that instructs us to love our neighbor.  God approves of our demonstrations of His love through our serving and helping our fellow believers.

Lastly, if anyone who is reading this is experiencing a calamity, please never be ashamed or reluctant to ask your brothers and sisters in Christ for help, prayers, and support.