Getting Started:
What does your speech say about you? When you speak to or about someone else, your words also are saying something about you. The Bible says your words reveal the condition of your heart. In reality, your speech says more about you than it does those about whom you may be talking. Jesus wants to transform your speech, but the road to transformed speech begins with the heart. Jesus said it this way, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).

Digging In:
(1) Lying vs. Truth
• What is considered a lie?
• Why do we lie?
• What does God say about lying?

“These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him…A lying tongue…A false witness who spreads lies, and one who sows discord among the brethren” (Prov. 6:16-19).

“speaking the truth in love…Therefore, put away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another” (Eph. 4:15a, 25).

At this point, we are not talking about making up a story to keep a surprise birthday party a secret. What we are talking about is when we purposely deceive someone by false speech or by omitting important facts in a manner that benefits us and hurts others. Bottom line: Lying is a sin. It’s one of the Big Ten God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai. When you lie, you are sinning against God, wrecking your own credibility, and harming your relationships with others. Lying comes in all shapes and sizes. Lying can be telling only part of the truth, exaggerating or just plain untruth, a lie.

Yet, we must ask, why do people lie? Sometimes we think it is easier than telling the truth, or maybe it appears to our advantage to lie rather than tell the truth. Wrong! Lies are not easier in the short or long run. The damage they cause is never worth it. It is far better to deal with reality and accept the consequences of our actions. This option may not sound as fun, but it is the way of Jesus. It is the path of following Jesus and knowing Him more. It is transforming.

(2) Gossip and Slander vs. Encouragement
• In an average week, what do you find yourself doing more: putting others down or encouraging others with your speech? How would you friends answer that same question about you?

“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers….Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice” (Eph. 4:29, 31).

“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much more as you see the day approaching” (Heb. 10:24-25).

To gossip is to talk about someone behind his or her back in a way that puts the person down and elevates yourself. To slander is to do the same, but specifically when you are talking about people in a way that is not true. This could include starting or being part of spreading a rumor. I have seen people gossip in the name of prayer requests. Gossip and slander only reveal our own self-righteousness and judgmental spirit. It reveals an area of our lives we need to have transformed by Jesus.

(3) Complaining vs. Thanksgiving
Complaining can be a hard one to deal with. This is because we are individuals who each like things a certain way; if something is not how we like it, then we easily can fall into complaining. What does complaining say about our hearts?

“For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:13-15).

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:16-18).

When we complain, we are saying God is not giving us all we need in the current situation. We ultimately are complaining against the goodness of God. Things are not the way they should be, and God needs to wake up and fix it. Instead, we should realize God in His love and mercy has us exactly where He wants us. It may not seem pleasant in the moment, but He has promised us that in all things He is working for our good (Rom. 8:28). So what is the answer to complaining? Thanksgiving! When you feel yourself slipping into gripe mode, stop and begin to recognize all the blessings you have in your life from the smallest to the greatest. Ask God to transform your perspective, and trust Him to supply your every need in His time.

Wrap It Up:
A relationship with Jesus is transforming. Jesus works from the inside out to make His life shine through you. Simply watching what you say is not the goal of the Christian life. Jesus wants to transform your heart to become a spring of good things that spill forth in your speech. A transformed heart produces transformed speech.

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