“HOW TO BECOME A MATURE CHRISTIAN”
Mature CHRISTIAN people make better decisions, don’t get themselves into trouble as often and they are happier people.
LAST WEEK WE SAID TO BECOME A MATURE Christian you must learn how to discern the spirit of God prompting you to think, speak, and act in a MATURE way.
IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE A MATURE CHRISTIAN YOU ALSO NEED TO LEARN THE SKILL OF CONTROLLING YOUR TONGUE.
(WITH YOUR MARRIAGE PARTNER, CHILDREN, FRIENDS, AND PEOPLE YOU WORK WITH)
Now, let me prepare you for this skill. If you are not careful, you will not think it is a skill.
Intro: Skill is the ability to use one’s knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance. We must not confuse Skill and Talent.
I know preachers who are talented preachers, they can speak and thrill audiences, but they do not have the skill to keep their life morally clean, keep their marriage together, rear their children or to be financially honest in paying their bills.
I counsel with men and women who have talent to make money, to be successful in the eyes of the world, but fail in many of the other important areas of their life, like marriage and family.
IF YOU ARE NOT CAREFUL YOU WILL NOT THINK SKILLS ARE AS IMPORTANT AS I AM TELLING YOU THEY ARE.
Real Successful people are people…
- WHO LEARN TO CONTROL THEIR TONGUE AND THEIR EMOTIONS.
Let me read this from a paraphrase,
James 3:1-10, ”Dear brothers, don’t be too eager to tell others their faults, for we all make many mistakes; and when we teachers of religion, who should know better, do wrong, our punishment will be greater than it would be for others. If anyone can control his tongue, it proves that he has perfect control over himself in every other way. We can make a large horse turn around and go wherever we want by means of a small bit in his mouth. And a tiny rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot wants it to go, even though the winds are strong.
So also, the tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A great forest can be set on fire by one tiny spark. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness and poisons every part of the body. And the tongue is set on fire by hell itself and can turn our whole lives into a blazing flame of destruction and disaster. Men have trained, or can train, every kind of animal or bird that lives and every kind of reptile and fish, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is always ready to pour out its deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our heavenly Father, and sometimes it breaks out into curses against men who are made like God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Dear brothers, surely this is not right!” (TLB)
- THE TONGUE CAN NOT BE TAMED SO IT HAS TO BE CONTROLLED
A BIG horse can be tamed so it will ALWAYS BE gentle and we can trust it to treat even a little child right, but the TONGUE cannot be tamed or ever trusted,THEREFORE, we must control it.
Parents have a saying, “Kid, your tongue is going to get you into trouble!” The tongue not only gets kids into trouble, it gets adults into trouble as well.
James 1:26, “Anyone who says he is a Christian but doesn’t control his sharp tongue is just fooling himself, and his religion isn’t worth much.” (TLB)
Notice it does not say “tame”, Why? The tongue cannot be tamed, but it can be controlled.
There is a saying, “Bite your Tongue.”
God put the tongue behind two fences, your upper and lower teeth.
Nothing hurts worse than to bite the tongue. But it needs to be bitten sometimes to bring it under control.
THIS IS ONE OF THE NECESSARY SKILLS THAT IS NECESSARY TO MAKE YOU A MATURE CHRISTIAN WHICH WILL MAKE YOU MORE SUCCESSFUL IN YOUR MARRIAGE, JOB AND WITH YOUR CHILDREN.
WELL preacher, I am not really concerned about being a mature Christian.
Well, are you interested in being a successful in making money, having friends, in your kids staying out of trouble, or in having a good marriage? Then it will be smart for you to take this skill very seriously…
1 Pet. 3:10, “If you want a happy, good life, keep control of your tongue, and guard your lips from telling lies.” (TLB)
HERE IS WHAT JESUS SAID HIMSELF.
Matt. 12:37, “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”(NKJV)
Prov. 17:27-28, “He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.” (NKJV)
Prov. 15:4, “Gentle words cause life and health; griping brings discouragement.”(TLB)
AND THERE ARE MANY MORE VERSES ON THIS VERY SUBJECT.
- WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO CONTROL THE TONGUE?
- FIRST, KEEP IT FROM LYING.
Prov. 21:6, “Getting treasures by a lying tongue is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death.” (NKJV)
DO YOU LIKE TO DEAL WITH PEOPLE WHO DO NOT KEEP THEIR WORD?
Here are some common statements.
Fill in the blanks for me….
- You cannot depend on them to do what they say.
- He does not keep his word.
- He or she never tells the truth.
HOW DO YOU KEEP FROM BECOMING A PERSON LIKE THIS?
STOP and make sure you are going to be able to do what you say before you say it.
Your boss asks you to do something by tomorrow.
Will you be able to repay someone.
- SECOND, KEEP THE TONGUE FROM SAYING HARSH AND BAD THINGS.
Old saying “If you can’t say something good don’t say anything at all.”
THIS HAS CAUSED MORE PROBLEMS IN MARRIAGE BECAUSE, WORDS CAN CUT AND HURT VERY DEEPLY.
Oh, if you will learn the skill of controlling the tongue it will keep you from having a lot of problems and heartache in life.
- Wife says something, you snap back, and then she does, and what was going to be
an enjoyable evening turns into a bad time.
- Parents need to control what they say to their children. Words fester like a cancer and
produce a growing variety of complicated reactions.
Eph. 6:4, “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” (NKJV)
Children are provoked more to wrath by what we say than by what we do.
In order to bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord, you need to be
a mature Christian. This is one of the reasons we are doing this series. Too many parents
don’t take seriously becoming a mature Christian.
Paul talks about this in,
1 Cor 3:1, “Dear brothers, I have been talking to you as though you were still just babies in the Christian life who are not following the Lord but your own desires; I cannot talk to you as I would to healthy Christians who are filled with the Spirit.”(TLB)
You are an adult now, but you can probably remember something that your parents said that hurt you very much. You still remember it that is how bad it hurt.
ABOUT 4 weeks ago, I was kidding someone from the pulpit. I really was kidding, but I was afraid it did not come across right, so I talked to them and said, “if I embarrassed you I want to apologize…”
I have had to go to my son many times, while he was growing up and even sometimes now and say I am sorry for what I said.
PARENTS, YOU WILL NEVER GO WRONG IN ADMITTING TO YOUR KIDS THAT YOU SAID THINGS YOU ARE SORRY FOR. THAT IS THE ONLY THING THAT WILL HEAL A WOUNDED SPIRIT…
APOLOGIZE TO YOUR MARRIAGE PARTNER. I do, but they say:
“YOU JUST KEEP SAYING HARD THINGS AGAIN AND AGAIN” and you probably do.
That is why this lesson today is so important.
REMEMBER, THE TONGUE IS HARD TO CONTROL, IT IS A CONTINUAL JOB.
- WHY TRY TO KEEP THE TONGUE FROM SAYING HARSH AND BAD THINGS.
- Because of who is trying to influence your tongue…the devil.
James 3:6, “And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness and poisons every part of the body. And the tongue is set on fire by hell itself and can turn our whole lives into a blazing flame of destruction and disaster.” (TLB)
Notice it says the tongue can turn our whole lives into a blazing flame of destruction and disaster.
That so true. It can turn a nice evening into a big blowup. It can turn a marriage into a disaster. It can turn our career into a disaster.
Set on fire by hell…by the devil.
Now if you have to live with someone who has a mean tongue, or you have to put up with someone who does, look beyond that person and see who is really behind what they are saying.
Hell itself…the devil.
Instead of getting hurt by the person, realize it is the devil who is really trying to hurt you.
He wants to get you for two reasons.
- You are created in the image of God and he does not like God.
- If you are saved, you are a child of God and he really doesn’t like you and he wants to
make you miserable. He really wants to kill you.
1 Pet 5:8, ”Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”(NKJV)
If we don’t learn to control the tongue, it will cause a lot of fires in our lives.