Thursday, October 23, 2008


This week's lesson (Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges, in case you missed my last post-which wasn't last week!) mopped the floor with me. Judgmentalism and Sins of the Tongue. OUCH.
When he covered judgmentalism, he talked about different aspects than I'd ever really considered. One of which was about doctrine or our beliefs about church/worship. There is a very fine line between holding our Biblical convictions and being judgmental of those who have different views. But how do you balance between standing up for key Biblical doctrine and expressing disagreement with someone who advocates unsound ways that don't turn into character assassination (that question is from the study guide). Bridges points out that we can still sin, even if we judge in accordance with Scripture, if we're doing it with with a self-righteous attitude.
Another aspect of judgmentalism he talked about was the critical spirit--someone who looks for and finds fault with everyone and everything. Have you ever been around someone like that? It's not fun. It's depressing and uncomfortable. Someone who sees someone they don't even know and says "Why on earth are they doing that? That is just stupid. They are wasting their money." etc.
Now, the "sins of the tongue". Well, Bridges included gossip, slander, lying, critical speech, harsh words, sarcasm (what?!), insults, and ridicule. Holy cow! Ouch, ouch, ouch!
He defined gossip as the spreading of unfavorable information about someone else, even if it's true. So even if your next door neighbor is an alcoholic, that doesn't mean it's not gossip when you talk about him and his drinking. When we say something critical about someone, even if it's true, we should ask ourselves first "does this need to be said...will this only tear this person down or will it build them up?" I think those 2 questions would pretty much put a cap on a lot of the things we say!

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but
what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace on the
hearers. Ephesians 4:29

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my
be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my
redeemer. Psalm 19:14

Wow! Not only should we guard our words, we should guard our hearts, too! That means that getting mad at hubby dearest and making a smart remark is sin. That means that growling in frustration when Anna doesn't listen for the TENTH time is sin. I could go on for ages here. The Lord has really convicted me about this. It's hard! But I know it's good. Just like Mom & Dad always told me "I'm doing this because I love you" (usually after a little discipline). God simply wants to refine me to be more like His beloved Son. How awesome is that? God loves us enough to give me these trials and test me--not because He likes to sit on His throne and watch me squirm, but because He loves me so much and He knows that these things will draw me closer to Him and drive me to be more like Christ (if I choose to let them!). I really encourage you to get this book and study guide. Even if it's just a study you do on your own or with your spouse. It is so eye-opening and GOOD!

Alright, I hope this post made sense. I better get to bed!!!!


Janet said...

This is a really good post....of course I enjoy all your posts....but lots of application on this one. Isn't it amazing how deceitful the heart can be. Without Christ, we would never know what true love is.

To me, so much goes into judgmentalism. Comparison in a way that we are a little better than someone else...perhaps more righteous. I think it also has control issues behind it. The need to control others in our environment....even in very subtle ways. Sort of the need to protect ourselves. Just my thoughts on that.

I read the "love" chapter in the Bible....I Corinthians 13. I also read another interpretation of those verses and it said.....if we have mastered all the words in the world in all the languages in the world but we only use them to tear others down ...or use them in hateful/harmful ways....what good is all that language. Words are to be used to encourage and lift others up. So without love, what good are all those words. It really made me see those verses from a different perspective.

Staci said...

Thanks for sharing! This is what we were studying with our HS focus group on Wed night!

Anonymous said...

thanks for being sensitive to the Holy Spirits work in your life, and for wanting to be more like Jesus, because your words are an encouragement to us.
How blessed is the person that walks in Gods will, and says words that help and encourage others.

Beth Wheatcroft said...

What a good reminder, especially on the gossip/slander issue. I remember from a bible study I did a while back that the author said to keep in mind that you are effecting 3 people, yourself, the person you're talking about and the person you're talking to. I had never considered how it effected the person you're talking to but that person has to then take that information and do something with it, they can't "unknow" it and so you've placed a burden upon them also to do something with that. That was a huge eye-opener to me!