Wake up, everyone. It's time for The Steve Noble Show, where biblical Christianity meets the everyday issues of life, in your home, at work, and even in politics. Steve is an ordinary man who believes in an extraordinary God, and on his show, there's plenty of grace and lots of truth, but no sacred cows. Call Steve now at 866-34-TRUTH. That's 866-34-TRUTH, or check him out online at thestevenobleshow.com. And now, here's your host, Steve Noble. I've got to admit, I'm beginning to think there's some kind of conspiracy with these guys at BJU, because we've done a lot of shows in the past, well, 10 months now, that get a little close to home with me and my own challenges as a follower of Jesus Christ. And so we're going to get into this today as we continue our conversation with Dr. Sam Horne about the book of James. Today, the blog post, which I'll post here in a second, the Sermon on the Mouth, which sounds a little personal to me. Let me throw this at you.
Okay, so there's a couple of different ways to come at this, and we're going to be in James chapter 3, which interestingly enough, I was just going through the first few passages of James chapter 3 with my son and three of his buddies last night. They're all 21, 22 years of age, and this is a topic that has dogged me for a long time, and that's why I guess God decided to put me in a realm where I speak effusively all the time, and that will rank up again at the end of August when I pick up eight classes and two online and about 130 students right now. So I talk a lot.
So here's a couple of different ways to come at it. You can talk about how fast we talk. Most of us talk about 120 to 130 words a minute. Professionals like me speak about 150 to 160 words per minute. People that do auctioneers, not me, 250 to 450 words per minute. Okay, so that's a lot.
Or look at it this way. On average for us now, ladies, a little bit more usually, but on average 16,000 words per day. Now let's turn that into a book. Your average book has about 250 words per page. So every day, ladies and gentlemen, you write with your words a 250 page or 64 page book. Okay, a 64 page book every day emanates out of your mouth. That's a 448 page book every week, which is a significant novel. Okay, that is in the course of a year, 23,296 pages, which is 52,448 page novels that proceed out of your mouth every single year. And as you get into James chapter three, which we'll do today with Dr. Sam Horn, we're going to get into something that when you first read it, you think, oh, this is for teachers.
This isn't for me. But James chapter three is for all of us. I will expand on this as we go through it because I've taught on this many, many times. I tend to talk and teach on things that I tend to be weak at myself. And like I mentioned, did this just last night with these young guys and it got pretty quiet as we talked about the things that we choose to say, how we say them, where that comes from, as well as the things we perhaps should have said and chose not to.
So today, the Sermon on the Mouth, the true measure of a ministry, whether it be a big ministry, a small ministry or your personal ministry. Dr. Sam Horn, well, thanks for just coming right at the middle of my life here. Appreciate it. How are you? Thanks, Steve.
I'm doing great. You know, it's funny that you talk the way you talk about this because I feel the same way. I'm preaching through the book of James and every week I feel like I get in a boxing ring with James and he just beats and beats and beats on my spirit because it's so relevant. And I thought about the Sermon on the Mount that Jesus himself preached. And then James comes along and he draws from that and he preaches the Sermon on the Mount. Yep. And so that's kind of where I got the title from. But I had not heard the statistics that you just gave about the book.
I never thought of that. It's brutal. A 64 page book a day. Every day.
A 400 and something page novel a week. And the scary thing, this is I think where James goes, is every one of those words has power for good or for evil. And we're going to give an account for every one of those words. And our words reveal things about us.
That's right. And we're going to get into all of that. Where does that come from out of the overflow of the heart? And last night, and I usually do this, I usually introduce the not so well-known theologian George Michael into the conversation. And these young guys are like, hey, do you guys know that song Careless Whispers? And they're like, what?
And then when they hear the saxophone part, they all go, oh, I know that song. And I'm like, yeah, the Careless Whispers of a good friend, the Careless Whispers. So Jesus said that we will be held accountable for every careless word we've ever uttered, which means that he's he's recording everything.
And you look at that. And that's where these guys and one of these guys, I don't know where he's at salvation wise. I'm like, so when we just talk about this subject alone and you think you're, quote unquote, good enough to get into heaven, that you're a pretty good person, you can't even account for all the damage you've done and all the sin that you've committed just by talking.
And so this is a really, really powerful subject. But interestingly, at the beginning of James, a lot of people might take themselves out of this. Sam, we're talking to Dr. Sam Horn from Bob Jones Seminary. Not many of you should become teachers. For you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. And at first, I think people go, oh, well, I don't teach. I don't teach Bible study. So I'm about to look here, right? Right, Sam?
I don't have a problem. That is exactly how people think. And where James is going with this is that everybody is a teacher. There are some teachers that have been set apart for the public preaching and teaching God's word. But your life is a lesson.
You are going to stand before your family, your kids, your friends, your neighbors, and you teach. And just so we get it, James says, look, we all stumble in many ways. We all stumble.
I mean, he's talked about the fact that nobody, including teachers, are sinless. We all make mistakes. We all stumble. Sometimes we sin unintentionally. We stumble into a sin, but sometimes we sin intentionally. James's point is we all stumble in our lives. But the way that you know your life is credible is there is one part of you that if you've learned to control, if you've learned to bring this under submission, it speaks to the rest of your life. And that's what he means when he says, if anyone does not stumble in what he says, in other words, when he doesn't sing with his mouth, you've discovered something. You have found a mature Christian. So a mature Christian is marked by a mouth, a tongue that speaks and what comes out of it is shaped by the wisdom of God rather than by what's going on in the world around him. And you can generally tell that I actually with these guys last night, we're coming up on our first break talking to Dr. Sam Horn from BJU seminary. I said to them, have you guys ever noticed the older, wiser Christians tend to be a little less boisterous? They don't they listen a lot. They don't tend to talk as quickly. And I'm like, so we could go sit there and go, well, James also said something about being slow to speak. I wonder why that is. I was just going there.
I was just going there. Be slow to speak. Be swift to hear. And when you're that way, you're listening to the word of God, right? You don't tend to grow angry at the world around you in the same ways that the pagan world around you is angry. You get grieved by what you hear and see, but you don't get wickedly angry. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
That's right. Failure to control the tongue is a devastating marker of a sin that left, if unaddressed, will defile lives, destroy relationships and diminish any teaching and gospel witness that you or me or Dr. Sam Horn has. This is Steve Noble. It's Theology Thursday with our friends at BJU Seminary. The Sermon on the Mouth is going to get a lot more comfortable, uncomfortable, so don't go anywhere.
Welcome back. It's Steve Noble, The Steve Noble Show, Theology Thursday with our friends at BJU Seminary. So it's about halfway through the waking day for most of us. OK, 4 19 p.m. Eastern Time.
If you're on the live show on radio or podcast or listening online or Facebook or YouTube, wherever you may be. So let's say we're halfway through the show. So all of us, already today, you've written a 32 page book with your mouth. The words that you've said just just right now, just stop 32 pages. And by the time you go to bed, tack another 32 pages on there.
Your wife, your husband, your children, a coworker, a neighbor, the person at the store, whatever. So the question becomes, what kind of book do you write every day? And then you guess who's going to read every single book, every single 64 page book that you've been writing ever since, let's say you were 12.
And let's say you lived to 80. So now you've got 68 years of writing these 64 pages, every single book and every single one of those books gets hand delivered to the God of the universe. And the God of the universe can read them instantaneously, can read.
He reads every single word you've ever uttered. And every time you go south in intent, in sharpness, in crudeness, whatever the case may be, that's just ding, ding, ding. And there's a little bell in heaven that rings every time God reads something on those pages that contradicts his character. That's another sin on your ledger.
Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding for 68 years over and over and over and over again. That's the power of the tongue, which is why we're in James chapter three today with our good friend, Dr. Sam Horne, who just, I guess, decided for the fun of summer would ruin all of our lives. So it's great to hear. This is just a great message for all of us, me especially a chief of all sinners. But great, Sam, thanks so much for being here. Well, Steve, we did say at the beginning of our time together way back when that we were going to do street theology.
We weren't going to be like doing ivory tower stuff. And you don't get more street than your tongue. No, that's right. And we just talked about in the last segment that the tongue is the indicator of our spiritual maturity. But in this segment, let's turn attention to the power of the tongue.
And you alluded to that. And that's what James says. He says our tongue has the power to direct us and to control our action. And there are two big illustrations that James uses. He uses the illustration of a horse and he uses the illustration of a ship, a large ship. And these animals have, you know, the horse has great power and great usefulness.
But if you don't control it with a bit in its mouth, then all of that is completely useless. So the person controlling the mouth of that horse with a bit is controlling the horse. So the average adult horse, I'm a numbers facts guy, right? So the average adult horse is about a thousand pounds and the bit's five inches wide. OK, now go to a supertanker.
And I actually showed my son and his friends this last night. A supertanker out there in the ocean, the average one's going to be about seven hundred ninety feet long. The rudder is 20 feet long. So the rudder of a supertanker that directs its path is 20 feet long with the supertanker itself.
It's seven hundred ninety feet long and they carry roughly five hundred eight hundred thousand barrels of oil they could pack on one of those bad boys. So that's the power of the tongue. Yeah.
And so that's the point. James is saying your tongue has the power to direct. It has the power to control. And so the issue is who's controlling my tongue?
Yeah. So whoever was controlling the bit of the horse or the rudder of the ship controls the horse or control the ship. So whoever controls my mouth controls me. And so there's only two places I can go. Either my mouth is being controlled by God and wisdom from above or my mouth and my tongue is being shaped and controlled by the God of this world and wisdom, which comes from below. Yeah, that's a frightening thought. And I think we were talking at the break.
I use this illustration. If you stop and think about the fact that the God of the universe used words and his words are actually the most powerful force in the universe. When he spoke words, things came into existence. The entire universe was created by words. And then he created us in his image and he gave our words power, not to that level. You know, we're not talking like word of faith, name it and claim it, manifest things, blah, blah, blah.
We're not talking about that. But our ability to speak our words have the power to build or the power to destroy. They have the power to heal or the power to wound. They can they can shape a person's entire eternal destiny. I can use my mouth in such a way with my kids that my kids will turn away from God, turn away from the gospel.
Or I can use my mouth in such a way with my neighbor that my neighbor is so impacted that it comes to Christ. Yeah. My words, if they're controlled by God, have great power to bring light.
And if they're controlled by the God of this world and my own flesh, they have great destructive power. Yeah. And one of the greatest illustrations of this happened years ago in the days of our grandparents, mine and yours, when a man in Germany got up and started talking and his name was Adolf Hitler. And by the time he got done talking, the result of his words were six million Jews incinerated in ovens. That's right.
I can't even I can't comprehend it. Our entire world was reshaped. Yeah. By all of that. And it came out of his mouth. It came out of his mouth.
Well, it might come out of his mouth, came out of his heart. That's right. In my U.S. history class, I show them some clips of some of those massive displays of power in literally one hundred thousand, two hundred thousand people. And the Nazis were so good at setting the whole thing up. And to watch him up there command that crowd. Stunning. Go back and watch. You can actually Google his speeches on YouTube. And I wouldn't advise that because it is it is dark. Oh, it's so dark.
Sure. But but then on the other side of the ocean was a man named Winston Churchill. And he stood up and he opened his mouth. That's right. And he started saying words to counter those words. And his words so mobilized an entire continent that you and I are free today. That's right.
Because he opened his mouth to counter those words. Yeah. So the impact of the tongue, which is a small vessel when it comes to the whole body.
Right. So we've got the bit guiding the horse. We've got the rudder turning the huge ship. But James also talks about the power, the destructive power is a fire in the tongue, like a fire set on fire from hell itself. And then you mentioned in the blog the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which is another great way to kind of quantify or get your mind around just how damaging this is. Yeah, that fire is an amazing story. We all know the story.
You know, Madame O'Leary's cow kicks over lantern. And by the time it's all done, you know, three point five miles of Chicago was burned up. Seventeen thousand buildings destroyed. Two hundred and fifty lives lost. What I didn't know until I actually lived up there was there is a town called Peshtigo. And on the very same day, August 8th. Two hundred miles north of Chicago, a forest fire started in the city of Peshtigo, and that fire burned, burned literally two thousand degrees of heat driven by one hundred and ten miles.
Wow, man. When, when, when, when moving one hundred and ten miles an hour, it destroyed twelve towns, eighteen hundred square miles and two thousand lives were lost. And James says, now, if you want a picture of the kind of destruction that can happen in a marriage or the kind of ravaging that can happen in a little child's heart or the damage you can do to your career or what can happen in your church or in your congregation, when you let your tongue loose, James says your tongue has the ability. It's not just like a horse.
It's not like a rudder. It's also like a spark. It's like a fire. And that fire is not a healthy fire that warms you. It's actually the very fire that comes from a place called hell. It's set on fire from hell and it destroys things. It ruins things.
It ravages things. And I don't think there's a one of us listening to the show or sitting here talking to each other that hasn't felt the ravage of somebody's tongue in our life. The wound of that. And probably there are people listening who somebody said something when they were four or five years old.
And they can remember it like it was yesterday. Yeah, you at sixty five years old. Right.
And you're still struggling with the damage that the words that proceeded out of mom or dad's mouth. Oh, yeah. Yeah, that's me. I'll be your Bruce Lee.
This is Steve Noble, The Steve Noble Show Theology Thursday with our friends at BGU Seminary talking to Dr. Sam Horn today as we continue our journey, which we're doing once a month with Sam to the Book of James, which has been awesome. The Proverbs of the New Testament and Bruce Lee. I tell you what, if you want to have somebody show up at your work or your house or a social event, whatever, and you need there's somebody there that just bugs the tar out of you and you just want to see him rip to shreds. I'm your guy.
OK, I can do that. I have that skill set. I am a verbal Bruce Lee. I can be brutal.
And you would at times when my spirit is in control, you would wonder if I was a Christian at all. And that's and then God, of course, in his infinite wisdom and some amount of humor then throws me on the radio five days a week for a long time and teaching and everything else that I've done. And so this is a very sensitive subject for me personally. But just because I'm the guy that's on the radio and podcasting and all that kind of stuff, this applies to all of us. We all speak about 16000 words a day.
We're all creating a 64 page book every day. I don't know how seriously we deal with this subject. I know that there's times when I'm very committed to it and times and I don't pay attention to it at all, which is when I'm doing damage and harming other people. That's the fire that James was talking about that setting things aflame and this this burning hell that we can create on Earth with friendships and marriages. Our children.
Let me just ask you guys this question. Do you do you still carry the wounds of things that mom or dad said to you when you were young? I mean, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 years ago, we just had a memorial service for my mother out in the mountains of North Carolina. She lived in 90. My dad lived in 91. And we're still processing things that went on between us as siblings and with parents.
That happened 40 years ago. That's that's the power of the tongue, which is why it's such an important topic. And we're so grateful, Sam, that you're here guiding us today and lending your wisdom. This conversation we've been talking about kind of what's going on here and the power of the tongue and the damage it can kind of do. But we've mentioned it a couple of times, but I want to dive into this a little bit more and then we're going to finish by talking about how do we actually tame our tongues, which neither Sam nor myself nor you can do. That's the Holy Spirit project there. But but the true heart of the matter, which is really difficult, this comes out of the Gospels when we talk about the overflow or the abundance of the heart comes vomiting out of our mouths. So when we're harsh and terrible, and I think most of us are aware of it when we've said the wrong thing.
Sam, let's talk a little bit about where does that come from? Because I think we have to take a real hard look in the mirror, which James also helps us to do. Well, you know, this is interesting because James says a couple of things at the very beginning of the book.
And one of the things he says is this. If you are in a trial and you need wisdom, you can go to God. And there is wisdom that comes down from God. Actually, the wisdom is his words.
So we're back to word. Yeah, God has given you words, he's put them in a book, you're holding in your hands called the Bible. And you go to that wisdom and ask God to give you understanding, insight and enlightenment about whatever you're going through from that book. But there's a condition. And the condition is, you have to come with a single heart with a whole heart that is fully trusting. You cannot be double minded. In chapter four, he's going to look at people who are living in two different worlds. You know, on Sunday, they show up. And man, they got their Jesus act on they got their God act on they got their Bible act on they got their church action on and then on Monday through Saturday, they're out in the world and you can hardly tell the difference. And James says to them, when when it all gets exposed, you have got to draw near to God. You have to cleanse your hands, you sinners. And then he says this, you have to purify your heart. You double minded.
Yeah. And what he means by purify there is you've got to unify your heart. You've got to bring it back to wholeheartedness. You've got to you've got to go back to undiluted, unmixed, unadulterated wisdom. So here's the question.
How do I know if I have a double heart, or a double minded heart? And James says, when your mouth can be like that fountain that you read about at the end. Yep.
And at one point, it's outcomes is wonderful, fresh water. And it's all about the Lord. Yes, beautiful.
Yes. And it's Oh, let me tell you about God's faithfulness. Let me tell you about God's mercy. Thank you, sir.
May I have another? Yeah, let me tell you about the gospel. And then you turn around. And now that same mouth is all of this trash, this criticalness, this judgmentalism, this, this provi, you know, I and it's not just our mouth, right? When he's talking about communication.
So it's what we write, what we what we text, right? Oh, sweet. So I heard a very sad story recently that I'll share without mentioning the names. But there was a Christian, our young lady grew up in a Christian home. And she fell in love with an unsaved guy.
And, and wrestled through all of that. And she eloped and her mother wrote her a letter. And in the letter, she said, I wish you had never. Oh, no, gosh, what you did is so bad.
I wish you had never been born. Now that happened probably 30 years ago. Do you think that girl, that young girl who's now an adult ever forgot that? No, of course not. Do you think it forever shaped her relationship with her mother?
Yeah. And to our knowledge, to my knowledge, that woman is not a believer today. Now I'm just saying, here is a mouth that on Sunday would say all the right things about God. But in the moment when it was most needful came out this hellish statement. I wish you had never been born. And all of a sudden somebody's eternal destiny is at stake. And this is somebody that probably at the time would have claimed to be pro-life.
Yeah, just to add a little more fuel to the fire. The challenge here, Sam, is when you look at that and you go, that's where you really have to. James also talks about this. Don't be like the guy that looks in the mirror. And a couple of minutes later, you forget what you look like. And I always think of David because he's the guy that I go to in the scriptures and his life, that while he was an egregious failure in so many different ways, he was still a man after God's own heart. And in his Psalm of repentance, my sin is ever before me. I'm not a broken down, defiled, on the sidelines, in the garbage chute Christian, just barely escaping the flames.
I don't see myself that way. But I am pretty sober minded about my sin. And I struggle with it. And I agonize at times.
I should agonize more at other times. And that's where this when you sit there and go, because I think in this context that we're in today, Sam, coming through COVID and everything and Trump and politics, I think now we're like, hey, you know, we tried nice and nice didn't work. Okay, fine. You want to talk about that politically?
That's fine. But as a Christian, I think we can struggle with baptizing harshness or condescension or judgmentalism or flat out hatred, which God would call murder, by saying that, well, we have to speak the truth about these things. But we're also told to speak the truth and love. And I think oftentimes, when we deliver a truth, our goal is not to build up. We're not trying to speak words of life, we're actually trying to harm people, put them in their place.
So I think we have to be, I hate to use the phrase hypersensitive, but I think we need to be there now. I think that's the point. And so, you know, remember the illustration of the of the ship and the horse, somebody is controlling the horse. It's not the little piece of metal and it's not the rudder. It's the person controlling those things that directs the ship or controls the horse. So whoever is controlling my heart controls my mouth. And James says there are two controlling things, wisdom from above. And then in chapter three, verse 15, he's going to tell you wisdom from below.
And then he says, let me tell you about that wisdom from below. It's natural. It's unspiritual. It has it's earthy. It's from the earth and it is demonic.
All right. That's its origin. It's demonic in origin.
It's no it's no surprise to me that James, when he talks about the tongue, he says it is set on fire from hell from hell itself. Yeah. Right.
So there's the there's the clue. You ask, where does all this come from? It comes from whatever wisdom I'm operating. So think of wisdom as the operating system of your soul. That's good.
Right. And then it's like the transmission that takes your belief into behavior. So what comes out of my mouth is telling me whether I'm double minded and I'm I'm letting myself be controlled by the thinking of the world, the frustrations of the world.
I mean, when I am no different than my unsaved neighbors and I'm just as mad and I'm just as vile. You know, it's interesting when God gets really gets a hold of a person, their mouth changes. There's an incredible story about a revival at the turn of the century that came to Wales and the miners got saved and their donkeys that were pulling the ore carts out of the mine wouldn't respond to them because they couldn't recognize the command. Whoa.
Because they weren't accompanied by curse words. Right. Wow.
And they had to retrain those donkeys. Wow. That's a stunning. That's amazing. Yeah.
About the power of the Holy Spirit to transform a person's mouth. And I just think, as I, you know, when we add to your point, you know, when we think about the rhetoric, because we live in a country that is being destroyed. That's right.
I think we just got to be honest. Yeah, it is. Absolutely.
The country is being destroyed. And we can sit back and do nothing. Right. We can sit back and do nothing and then demonet or we can get involved. But how we get involved is as important as getting involved. That's right.
That's the question. How we use our mouth. That's right.
Exactly. So we're going to finish up in the fourth segment with Dr. Sam Horns today from BGU Seminary. The Sermon on the Mouth.
How do we actually tame the tongue with the power of the Holy Spirit? Welcome back at Steve Noble, The Steve Noble Show Thursday, Theology Thursday, of course, with our friends at BGU Seminary. As a reminder, tomorrow I'll be out tomorrow, but I'll pretty much be here the rest of the summer and then into the fall.
Things get back to normal. Summer's always a bit of a curveball, little things going on here and there. But I did want to remind everybody, my good friend Michelle Woodhouse will be in tomorrow, guest hosting. Michelle was running in the primary earlier this year in the Republican primary around western North Carolina. Just brilliant, smart, tough lady.
Loves the Lord. She's got some great guests that she's going to come on, have on tomorrow. Peggy Grand was President Reagan's executive assistant who wrote an incredible book, The President Will See You Now. So she's going to talk about some of her stories with the former President Ronald Reagan.
That'll be awesome. And then David Drucker, who's an incredible political correspondent with The Washington Examiner, great author. He wrote a book called In Trump's Shadow. So that's going to be on. And then Mercedes Schlapp, who's with CPAC and Fox News contributor. She used to be the director of communications. I actually had her on once for the Trump campaign. And she's going to be talking about that as well. So those are three great guests. Michelle's going to do a great job and so excited for that tomorrow. But today, this really, really important conversation about the power of the tongue, the sermon on the mouth, the sermon on the amount.
We could go to that somewhere else. But the Sermon on the Mouth in James Chapter three with Dr. Sam Horn. Again, Sam, always a blessing. Thank you so much for your leadership and your wisdom.
Well, thank you. Well, you know, as we kind of wrap our show up today, Steve, maybe we could talk just a little bit about what to do about the tongue, because there's not one of us. I mean, not you, me who have not used our tongue for good the way God wants us to do and then turn around and done great damage with it. So how do we do that? And I think there's five things we could do.
Number one, I think James says you got to recognize something. You will never be able to tame your tongue on your own. He says no human being can tame the tongue.
That's right. And then he goes on to say every animal under the sun has been tamed. The word tamed there is not like teach your dog to do tricks.
This is the idea of it's been subdued. It's what God told Adam. Go out and subdue the earth. All of the animals have been subdued. The animals do not run the planet. Right.
There's some people who wish they did and act like they do. But the animals do not run the planet. Right. They have been subdued. But there's one thing that man has not been able to subdue and that's his tongue. And so we can't subdue our tongue on our own. So how do I how do I tame my tongue if I can't do it in my own strength?
That's the second thing. Receive God's word with meekness, with humility and not resistance. In other words, if you want to if you want to tame your tongue, subdue your heart. You know, it's not like I'm going to put a guard on my mouth. Right. And I'm going to count to 10 before I say it. And I'm going to you know, I'm going to I'm going to keep my mouth closed two times more than I open it.
You know, all these little tricks. Right. Sure. Right. That's not going to tame our tongue. What has to happen is we have to submit our heart. And that's the second thing. James has let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, receive with meekness the word that's been implanted in you, which is able to deliver your soul. So receive God's word with meekness.
Number three, here's the hard one. Resolve to be true to the truth, even when you don't like the truth. Here's my deal. I'm very selective. You know, I'm all about truth, brother.
Oh, yeah, of course. Very selective. We're on the Truth Radio Network.
A lot of these. I mean, think about it. We're very, very truth oriented people.
But it's easy to be selective about the truth. Yeah. You know what? I'm going to speak truth to power. I'm going to confront evil. I'm going to do this and do that. And God says, now, wait a minute, there is one truth you have to face. And that's the condition of your own heart.
Yes, there you go. And so, well, I've often said as a Christian activist and God had to lead me down this road through the truth of his word. And I still say it like this.
It's really easy to point the white hot spotlight of judgment at the culture. But do you have the guts to point it at yourself? Yeah. And that's yours. Sometimes I don't. Right. That's right.
That's James in the mirror. I give myself the pass all the time. Oh, all the time. I'm calling everybody else out.
And until somebody calls me out, I'm like, I'm good. Well, listen, listen, I'll go to that great theologian Saul Olinsky on this one and rules for radicals, which I pulled out last night with my son and his friends talking about the power of the tongue and being a Christian. And I said, what's one of the things that the unbelievers like to say about us the most? What's the number one charge they throw at us? Well, you guys have a bunch of hypocrites.
Right. So Saul Olinsky rules for radicals. Rule number twelve. Rule number four is use your enemy's own standards against them because they'll never live up to them and sit there and go.
And that's the struggle of the Christian life. When you are talking about this, be true to yourself. OK, fine. I'll speak truth to power. I'll speak truth to evil. I'll speak truth to corruption. I'll speak truth to Planned Parenthood and abortion. I'll speak truth to Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin. Will I speak the truth to myself? And do I have using God's word?
Because once you put God's word up against your life and your thoughts and your words, that's where the rubber hits the road. And I'm I've said this before. You've heard me say this before. I have a Ph.D. in everybody else's sin.
But a GED in my own. Yeah. And that's the problem here. So you start submitting your life more and more to the truth. Speak the truth to yourself.
And by the power of the Holy Spirit, that will begin to tame your tongue. So as I speak truth about truth. Right. So I'm looking at the culture.
We were talking about this earlier. I'm looking at the culture. I have a responsibility to speak truth in the culture. Right. But how I speak about the people whose truth I'm challenged. Right.
Whether it's a whether it's a fellow brother or a pagan, I am so frustrated with what's coming out of their mouth. I cannot speak evil about that person. Right. I can identify their evil. Sure.
I need to confront their their their falsehood or their error. But I need to remember their image bears. And I have to speak about it to an image bear remembering that God created them. Yeah. And when I disparage the image bear, I'm actually disparaging the creator.
This is where James goes. So even as I speak truth to power and even as I confront the error and sometimes just the outright wickedness, it comes out. Yeah.
Somebody's math or the wrong thinking that's destroying things. I've got to remember I don't get to disparage that person. I don't get to use the tactics of the enemy to undo the enemy himself.
Right. So that's what Proverbs says. Answer not a cool fool, according to his folly. In other words, when you respond to a fool, don't use his same method. Don't you know, don't go out of at the don't go out the fool the way the fool is going at everybody else. But answer his folly. Don't let his folly. Right.
Which is why Proverbs says it twice. Yeah. Answer not a fool the way he foolishly talks. But answer a fool according to his folly. Go after that.
Go after the thought. Yeah. That's good. And then the fifth thing is run to God's mercy, because you're going to need a lot of it when you use your mouth a lot. So is this and this is where I end up, just like David did when he was confronted by Nathan and having to deal with his own sin, that he comes back and that's like, hey, Lord, search my heart, revealing me any unclean and wicked thing. And that's where we have to remember God's mercy is always there as mercies are new every morning. And so when we when we find ourselves and I find myself in this often where I know I shouldn't have said it, I said it the wrong way, my motivation was wrong, whatever the case may be where I where I send in this way, then I got to I got to I got to run back to God's mercy. Yeah. Over and over again.
First John one night. And this is what James says. God's mercy always triumphs over judgment. Amen. Right. And so, you know, maybe the final thought that kind of puts all of this together, if I can't pay my tongue. Then then I have to acknowledge God has to tame it for me.
Yeah. And so so with David, I need to say this. Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart, which drive those words, the source of those words, the words of my mouth, the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight.
To your point about the books, God is hearing and seeing everything I speak. That's right. Let what I say coming out of my heart be acceptable. Oh, Lord.
And then here's the interesting thing. My strength and my redeemer. God, I don't have the ability if you're not my strength.
That's right. And I don't have any hope if you're not my redeemer. If you cannot redeem my mouth, then there's no possible way for me to redeem it. And so I've got to come to God and God says, all right, now I need you to go back to my wisdom and I need you to let your heart be shaped and formed into a single mind, not double mind, so that wisdom from above is driving what comes out of your mouth. And then and then I was going to ask in terms of just getting help with this, Sam, of course, we need to pray and ask the Lord to help us with this. But can we ask another believer to help us with this? I mean, I mean, I have this relationship with my wife now where we call each other out based on the things that we've said.
And that's very helpful. She's going to have to call me out way more than I have to call her out. But but to ask somebody that, hey, you know what? Pay attention. Would you please pay attention to not only what I say, but how I say it? I don't know that many of us have a kind of verbal accountability partner like that.
Well, one of the things that my wife has been very helpful to me, sometimes she'll say, honey, it would be really helpful if you would hear yourself talk. Oh, because what you think is coming out of your mouth and what is actually coming out of your mouth is two very different things. Right. It's not talking about the words.
She's talking about their impact. You think you're being gracious when you speak truth to our son or to me. But what's coming out is very much harshness. And you're trying to get your point across because you want to make this right and you want to make this or whatever. And all of a sudden it's like, you know what I need to do? I need to repent. And that's the hard part, right? The reason my tongue doesn't get tamed by God is because I'm not willing to repent.
The hardest words to come out of my mouth are these. I was wrong. Oh, man. I sinned against you. I hurt you. Please forgive me. Yep.
I don't want to do it again. Yeah. So powerful. And that's something that truth be told for most of us. This is a battle we face every day. This is a battle that we probably lose just about every day. We certainly have a lot of opportunities to do it as we each write a 64 page book every day. But let's try to keep this list shorter and go to the Lord faster for repentance because mercy triumphs over judgment.
Thank God. And we all need to do a lot of work on this. And we all do a lot of damage.
And I know none of us want to go to our grave with that as our legacy. Dr. Sam Horn, always great to have you on here, buddy. And it's such a great study and we'll continue it again next month. Right.
So looking forward to that. All right. God bless you, friend. Thank you everybody for being here. God willing. I'll talk to you again real soon. And like my dad always used to say, ever forward.
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