Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Speech and Spirituality

This is part of the sermon by Rev.Dr.Stephen Tong on 21 August 2005 on James 1:26

According to James 1:26, a person who has no tight rein on his tongue is ungodly. He considers himself religious but he does not constrain his tongue, therefore he deceives himself.

A person who has self-control can control the world. And self-control begins from the control of the tongue. If we cannot control our tongue, we cannot control other parts of our life.

Why do people make so many errors in their speech? The reason is because most people do not really understand the meaning of the words they say. We don't take seriously the process between understanding and expression.
Meaning is the foundation of language. Logos is the foundation of meaning. And it is the Spirit that expresses the Logos to us. So there is a relationship between spirituality and speech. Our speech is the expression of our relationship with the Truth. Tongue then, is a tool for spirituality.

There are 4 beings that can express meaning (speak): God, humans, angels and devil. Here we see that these are beings with spirit, therefore are able to express meaning.

The things we say reflect our spiritual state. So how do we speak cautiously to express the Truth and to have a right relationship with the Truth? There is a relationship between God's Word and the words we speak and this determines whether we are truly godly.

From passive side, there are things we never should utter with our mouth.

1. Filthy words. Shameful words and words of lust. We should not even speak of them but our mouth should be sanctified.
2. Words that destroy others' hope and faith.

3. Irresponsible words (rumors) that cannot be accounted for.
Often we simply pass on messages which are wrong and when asked to prove our case we have nothing to say. We are doing Satan's work without pay!

4. Words that destroy other's reputation. A true gentleman will be able to constrain things for himself. It is very evil to destroy people's reputation while they have worked their whole life to build it up.

5. Words that create greater misunderstanding. It is hard to make peace once people enter into conflicts so we should try to stop propagating misunderstanding.

From active side, we need to speak the Truth in love and build up others for their sake. We need both the right motivation and wisdom to reach better expression. We should speak words that are worthy to be recorded, worthy to be repeated. These words have great value.


At 8:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 12:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hai lin,

I am desy. I have been blessed with your post sermons. I actually went to some argument with my friend about some of the famous charismatic pastor. For what he preached are wrong and what should we do as christian. And I explained to her how a pastor like Stephen Tong really serious about words of God.

Her suggestion to me is to listen only the good one and avoid the wrong one.

What do you think Lin....I think that impossible that evil and God works in the same sermon preach by a man.

Thanks Lin...



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