Thu, 25 September 2014
UNIVERSITY OF EXCELLENCE
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I want to talk to you today about How to Commit Murder - or - The Tongue and the Titanic.
I used to live on my boat. It was a sloop and had excellent turning capabilities. Generally, the rudder of a ship should be 1/70th of the size of the hull. And, there is a formula used by naval architects to calculate the area of a ship's rudder: AR = K x LBP x d (m2).
The rudder of a ship guides it through the waters; it determines the ship's directions. It is the same way with your rudder: your tongue. It guides your life and determines the direction you travel … plus it determines in great extent what comes into your life because you're passing through those charted areas you predetermIned by your speech.
As a student of coastal navigation I learned to chart my sailing trips. In the same way you are charting your future – as well as the present – by what comes out of your mouth. The rudder of a ship is small compared to the overall size of the vessel; however, it turns the vessel wherever the captain of the ship determines. Our brother James tells us:
“Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.” (James 3:4)
King Solomon said, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21)
“Death” words discourage: they are destructive and debilitating; they impair one's strength and make weak or feeble.
“Life” words encourage: they minister hope and potential; they provide encouragement and a reason for continued perserverance. If you want to win in life, make a decision to live … and to help others do the same with your words!
Your words influence direction for you … and for others. It has been said that a person has two voices: the one they use at home and the one they use with others. Example: Do you speak to your Rabbi or Pastor the same way that you speak to your spouse or your children at home?
Synagogue and church gossipers can hurt others with their words. Here's another example: “Did you see what Melani wore last week?! She had 20 pounds of sugar in a five pound sack! And, did you notice the tattoo?!”
April 14-15, 1912, the British luxury passenger liner, Titanic, sank en route to New York City from Southampton, England during its maiden voyage. The vessel sank with a loss of about 1,500 lives. It's rudder directed it into an iceberg.
Our beloved brother James – comparing the tongue to a ship's rudder – also tells us, “Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles.” (James 3:5)Many times I have seen where thousands of acres of beautiful forest land have been destroyed by a small campfire.
The word used for “fire” in the original Greek language is the word “pur: which means more than just regular fire, it means “lightning.” Your words have the power to burn people!
In Psalm 52:2, King David shares, “Your tongue devises destruction, like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.”
In the Guiness Book of World Records – and confirmed by GPS – Craig Harrison of the UK’s Household Cavalry killed two Taliban insurgents from a distance of 2,474 m / 2.47 km (8,120 ft, or 1.54 miles) in November 2009. It took the 8.59 mm rounds almost three seconds to hit their targets, which were 914 m (3,000 ft) beyond the L115A3 sniper rifle’s recommended range. A third shot took out the insurgent’s machine gun. The rifle used was by Accuracy International.
I mentioned this “sniper kill record” to let you know that your words can kill worldwide. Fire can hurt other than through your tongue – it can hurt people through your fingertips – for example, through E-mail or social media.
Benjamin Franklin said, “Slip of the foot, you can recover. Slip of the tongue, you may never recover.”
James also taught us, “For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:7-8)
I know what you're thinking. You're thnking, “Well, if the tongue cannot be tamed WHY are you teaching on this?” My answer is, “Because we can learn to discipline ourselves.” That's why James said that if we don't stumble in our words (James 3:2) we are mature and able to “bridle” the whole body – a bridle directs a horse like a rudder directs a ship like a tongue directs a life.
Monitoring your words may seem difficult at first, but it will help you to progress in right living. Learn to speak well of others – even if they don't speak well of you – because: 1. slander issues out of demonic, worldly wisdom; and, 2. God is the Judge.
I recommend you study my teaching, Don't Let the Little Dogs Bother You (How to Shake Off Liars and Gossips) because it will help you to see immensely the inner workings of such evil.
Here are some keys to help you guard your words:
1. Learn not to speak rashly. Zip your lips!
2. Pick your battles. Know when to hold them and when to fold them!
3. Speak life. Be a minister of the sanctuary.
4. Sleep on it (even your emails). In the morning you may say: “Glad I didn't do that.”
For several years during the early 1970's I lived a few blocks from Richard and Karen Carpenter – The Carpenters. One of my favorite songs they recorded was: We've Only Just Begun. (Listen to it in the podcast) We had a mutual friend, Jim White, who owned a stationery store where Karen Carpenter and I used to do business. (By God's grace, I led the owner of that store to Christ at the counter one day and he became a wonderful Christian.)
Karen died at the age of 33 of heart failure caused by anorexia nervosa in the city of Downey (Los Angeles area) where I still have an office. She had struggled for eight years with chronic anorexia. Karen had been down to 79 pounds in weight, and started back up to 110, but died one year later.
What most people don't know is this: A radio personality one time referred to Karen as “Richard's chubby little sister.” Those words went out into eternity with Karen.
Words determine direction – they're like fire – and they must be guarded. Words go out into eternity with blessing or cursing … with life or death.
Below are some resources to help you as you learn to monitor your tongue for charting YOUR course in LIFE:
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