Tuesday, July 9, 2013
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I used to be undefeated in Scrabble. I'm sure you're real excited about that. Of course I've never heard of an Olympic Scrabble Tournament, or I would have entered it. But you notice what I said...I used to be undefeated? Yeah.
See, a long time ago son broke my winning streak. You say, "Well, it couldn't have been too impressive." Yeah, my son is a smart kid. And near the end of that game that finished my future as the King of Scrabble I was getting desperate! I had a few high-scoring letters left, maybe you've done this. Some of those 8 and 10 point scorers, you know, and some Zs and Qs. So I put down a word that is sort of a word but sort of not a word, and it was sort of debatable. So guess what we did? We debated it. I got out the dictionary, and I got absolutely no support. After arguing my case a little bit more, I finally gave in and lost. I'll tell you, there's no satisfaction winning on words that I probably shouldn't use anyway in Scrabble or in everyday life.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "No Way to Score Points."
Our word for today from the Word of God is about no way to score points. Ephesians 4:29, says this, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." And it says in verse 31, "Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice."
These verses that we've read here are about what you do with your mouth. And it says to us that the easiest thing to do with your mouth is to tear people down. The book of Proverbs says "the tongue has the power of life or death" and you can, with what you say, either make a person feel more alive or more dead inside. You've had it happen to you. You know. It's so easy though, isn't it, to use our mouth to score points on the other person, to defend ourselves, to get out of a jam, to express our anger.
But it's no way to score points. Just think about the people who are most important to you that you spend the most time with; your family, your coworkers, your friends, people at school. You've learned that there are things you can say that help you get your way. Right?
Every married couple knows this, that there are some things you can say to silence your partner. There's a way to make sure you win the argument, right? But usually it's in a way that cuts them down. There's a sarcasm maybe that can leave the people around you quivering.
There's the attack on their weak spot; you know where they're weak, you know how to get at them. If you attack that spot, their physical weak spot, their emotional weak spot, you know you can get your way. You can use guilt to get your way, to manipulate them into whatever you want. Oh, you win for the moment, but you leave them feeling very small. And guess what? You got smaller in the process.
And like Scrabble, there are words; there are kinds of sentences you should never allow. You should never allow to come out of your mouth any words that make someone else feel smaller. The Bible says to only allow words that build people up. That's the test.
What if you listened to a recording of yourself for the last couple of days? Would you hear criticism, attacks, negativity that put the other person on the defensive, names called, put-downs given? Oh, maybe you scored some points for the moment, but you're both smaller as a result of it.
We're told in 1 Peter 2, that Jesus did nothing wrong. It says, "Did no guile and no accusation came out of His mouth." Would you let His lordship reach your mouth? Eliminate the cutting words, the hurting words. They're words you should never use; they're just no way to score points.