Our Words Are Living Water
Recently we attended an ordination service of a very dear friend. The ceremony was beautiful, filled with wonderful music, eloquent speeches and much pomp and circumstance. As the candidates entered the auditorium there was a great celebration and rejoicing. Little did we know, positioned directly behind us, a father was making every attempt to keep his young boy under control. As the opening prayer came to a conclusion everything was quiet. Suddenly the voice of frustrated three-year-old thundered abruptly. “YOU ARE A BAD DADDY!” There in public, with everyone’s attention the “truth” was exposed; at least the truth as seen through the eyes of a three year old child. This man was a “bad daddy”.
No matter how awkward the circumstance, it’s easy to disregard the opinion of a frustrated three-year-old. We just give a little chuckle and move on. It’s not so easy when an adult does the same thing. At the age of three an explosive rendering of our fallen nature seems cute. But left unchecked we move into adulthood and become like the person described in 1 Timothy 6:4. “He is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived in truth…” Simply stated, our words have power; power to destroy or power to give life. A Christian’s words should be like living water; bringing joy and life to all who receive.
1. If you were sitting near this father and child how would you have reacted? How would you have felt?
2. We have all been in situations where someone has said something hurtful to or about someone else. How do you feel when this happens? How do you respond?
3. There is a saying that, “Hurt people hurt people”. Have you found this to be true?
4. Now tell of a time when someone’s words made a positive impact on your life. What did this person say? What was it that encouraged you?
What do the following Scripture verses have to say about this subject?
· I Corinthians 13: 1
· Proverbs 17:22
· Proverbs 34:12-13
· Psalm 19:14
· Psalm 39:1
· Proverbs 11:12
· Proverbs 15:4
· James 1:26
· 1 Peter 3:10
1. As a group, devise a plan of action that will help you respond to the following situations.
Ø Sometimes I find myself speaking negatively about others. What can I do to catch myself and redirect my thoughts and speech?
Ø Sometimes I am around others who are speaking negatively. How can I redirect the conversation so that it becomes more positive?
Ø When I’m having a problem with someone, what approach can I take that will bring about positive change without being negative?
Ø What would be the results if we all were to put these strategies into practice?