waking up grumpy
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. (Eph 4:29-32)
Calvary Christian Bookstore had a decorative pillow that said: “Sometimes, I wake up grumpy. And sometimes, I just let him sleep.” Obviously, being grumpy is not a Christian virtue. But, sometimes don’t you sort of feel like being a little grumpy…at least a wee-bit? You notice that the number five bird in the picture is not singing. He’s not a full-fledged grump, but he doesn’t feel up to singing with the others.
Sometimes it’s our body chemistry, or the gout, or a cold virus is moving in and we just don’t feel like singing. And, we don’t like it much when somebody else feels like singing. But, aside from coming down with a virus, some folks just seem to be born out of sorts and others are nice some days and drift into the “grump” attitude on other days. It starts in kindergarten, the disposition thing. And others seem to have an appetite for strife and contention as a way of life.
In the New Testament, we don’t have a big detailed list of things to do and not do. The New Testament deals more with attitude than with action. But, it does insist on moral restraint, moral structure, and some of it is “do and don’t” just like the Old Testament. More often, we call it “living the Christian life.” Since much of our living involves actions between people, our first order of good behavior is the management of our tongues. An unholy tongue grieves the Holy Spirit and aggravates people around us. We are told that …the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (Jas 3:8)
Jesus said: A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. (Luk 6:45) And…
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35)
Someone has said that the tongue is located in a slippery place and we should be careful how we turn it loose without a handrail. Gathering up careless words is like gathering up feathers that have been shaken into the wind. Careless words turn into cruel words and words probably destroy more homes and cripple the lives of more children than alcohol and drugs. That’s a strong statement but I believe it is a true statement. Managing our tongues is a serious responsibility before men and before God.
The word “mouth” occurs 424 times in the King James Bible and the word “tongue” occurs 129 times. It’s not all about speaking but a lot of it is. That doesn’t cover the plural forms of the words. If we want to know what God thinks and what our duty is, looking up these two words in the all the places they occur in the Bible can provide a lot of cloth for making a godly garment.
Thirty years ago, when Barbara and I married, I said: “I may get grumpy when we turn eighty.” She replied, “You better not.” About everyone knows what being grumpy is and I’ve never heard anyone say: “Oh! I just love being around grumpy people!”
Our text today is, I believe, the abbreviated encyclopedia of Christian living. There are other sins of murder and adultery and stealing, etc. But nothing is as handy and easy to engage in as complaining and whining and seeing everything through a dirty window. Unholy talk grieves the Spirit of God, as our text today declares. No corrupt communication. That about covers it. James said it this way: For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. (Jas 3:2) Of course, the control our mouths and tongues comes from deep within: from the heart.
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psa 139:23-24) Ω
READ THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
JANUARY 10, 2017 – TUESDAY
A.M. Genesis 25-26 P.M. Matthew 9:1-17
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Mixed Quartet: Power in the Name of the Lord (Breath of Life Quartet)
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