Violence in WordsBro. David Chancellor
2/12/2006 6:00 PM
Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise; Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me. My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! For then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest. Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city. Day and night they go about it upon the walls thereof: mischief also and sorrow are in the midst of it. Wickedness is in the midst thereof: deceit and guile depart not from her streets.
We live in a violent world. Violence is not only physical; it is also in words. This one was distressed because of what was being said. It is important that we think about what we say. Consider the effect of your words.
There were some cartoons published recently that have incited violence. The saints would not take the streets; that isn’t in their character. When people get inflamed, the hate in their hearts comes out. If Christians took the position, “Death to the infidel,” it would be like mowing down a wheat field right before the harvest. As Christians, our call is not to do harm to the sinner.
When we speak about something we can stand by our position without treating those with the opposition position in a way that is harmful and hurtful. We are free here in America to say what we want to, and reap the consequences of what we say. We need to consider the consequences before we speak. Sometimes the consequences are necessary for the truth to be said. Our hearts can be hurt by what others have to say. Pain can be caused by words that are said. Not everything that crosses your mind should be said. Have control over what comes out of your mouth.
God would have us to combat evil one person at a time. We shouldn’t be out threatening people. Take time to think about things; don’t just run with the crowd.
Proverbs 10:6, 11
Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked. … The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.
“Violence covereth the mouth of the wicked…” This is true because violence is in the heart of the wicked. Words can be harmful. God can give you grace to rise above the hurt. Violence is more than physical. Be careful of your words. Words can be just as hurtful as physically assaulting someone. Children need to be taught not to be cutting in their words. Purity of heart should produce pure and helpful words. Endeavor to be helpful with your words, as well as with your hands. Let your words be a source of blessing to those around you.
He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit. There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.
There are some who work with the tongue to destroy. Hate in the heart makes you a murderer. Slander is just as hurtful as murder. We can speak words that are plain without being hurtful. The mission of the Christian is to win souls. “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city.” How hard do you want to make your job? Speak the truth in love.
Then said they, come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words.
These didn’t like what Jeremiah said. Jeremiah told them the truth, but they desired to slander and hurt him. This kind of behavior is inappropriate for a saint. We can stand for what is right by being willing to suffer for what we believe is right, not by making everyone else suffer. We don’t want to hid behind “freedom of speech” to prevent others from speaking what is right. Think about the result of your words. Consider who will hear your words and how it will affect them. Not everyone can bear everything at one time. Be merciful and longsuffering. Fights often begin with words. Words can cause many people to suffer. Think before you speak.
Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war. They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips. Selah. Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings. The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah. I said unto the Lord, Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O Lord. O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle. Grant not, O Lord, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves. Selah. As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them. Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire: into deep pits, that they rise not up again. Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him. I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor. Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.
Saul was hunting David to put him to death. Many people seek to hurt with the tongue and with words. We don’t want any poisoned darts coming from us. We don’t want to set a trap for others. Be careful with your words. Mischief is unpleasant. Mischief done with the tongue can be equally problematic. We want our words to be a help to others.
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.
“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.” We want what we say to minister grace to the hearer. “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice…” We don’t want to have the characteristics mentioned here. “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you…” These are the characteristics we want to have. The difference between a mouth given to God and one given to the world should be clear. The world needs to see good returned for evil done. They need to see a difference. We want others to see something different in us. The violence can stop when the heart is changed, and the tongue is ruled by the Holy Spirit.