Elements City Church
The Word on Words - wk1 (A New Rhythm)
We each know intuitively that our words have a power to them. Power for good or for harm. It seems in our polarized culture today – it would be really good if we each could get better at HOW we use our words. We need some biblical wisdom on how we speak.
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  • Elements City Church
    1825 N Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85712, USA
    Sunday 5:00 PM

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Today we launch a new series: The Word on Words – getting some biblical wisdom in how we speak. It takes 2 years to learn to talk, but it takes the rest of one's life to learn to control what we say.
James 1:19-21 & 26
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

v. 26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.
listen to this counter-cultural rhythm James announces – if we were to ever get this – it would have drastic, dynamic and GOOD ramifications in how we relate to one another.
“Quick to listen….SLLLLLOOOOOOWWWW to speak”
The WHO that is saying this is HUGE!

James is a famous guy in the early church, but he has a more famous brother! James is the younger brother of Jesus – think about that!
His story is one of the greatest testaments and strongest points of evidence for the Christian faith and to Jesus himself being who he says he is! He doesn’t really show up in the story of Jesus as it’s unfolding, he doesn’t makes his appearance until after the story of Jesus.

It's then, that something happened! -- AFTER THE RESURRECTION.
Think about this: James stood with his mother and watched his brother be crucified and then a few days later he had breakfast with him on the beach.
If that happens: YOU’RE CONVINCED. All other theories are tossed out the window, all other preconceived notions are now replaced!!

James emerges as the leader of the church in Jerusalem, where all this stuff went down and happened. You can read about his death, Josephus (a jewish historian writes about it). James was killed for his faith and he died declaring that Jesus wasn't just his brother, but His Savior!
Quick to listen!!! ---make it your first priority.
Linger in listening longer than you think you should. Listen to learn!!
BE CURIOUS! Listen to really hear what is being said and listen to what is even going unsaid. And then: When it comes to your words – Be SLOOOWWW TO SPEAK - When it comes to using words:
WAIT = be late!
Quote:
“Let’s discipline ourselves so that our words are full and few.”
- Richard J. Foster

Quick to listen ….. Sllllooooowwww to speak. This is a godly rhythm to conversation, to conflict, to communication. This IS NOT the current rhythm of the words exchanged across our land!
“We all want to be heard/understood”
now - if we live by a worldly rhythm: QUICK TO TALK, slow to listen – we can be absolutely RIGHT and 'right' those people out of relationship with us. We can be absolutely RIGHT and still lose, forfeit, sabotage & sink the relationship.
...so James is introducing a counter-cultural rhythm that we must learn:
Quick to listen…sllllooooowwww to speak
Slow to become angry is both a result and a decision. If you are quick to listen, slow to speak – you are less likely to be angry AND it is easier to guard against your anger if you’ve decided up front that I’m going to concentrate on listening, I’m going to ask questions and I will choose to be curious.

Anger has a way of stirring up when we are not quick to listen, or slow to speak.

When we speak quickly, with little attempt at listening or understanding – we tend to escalate the situation by saying things we might regret, or saying them in a way that others struggle to hear or even can set them off...

Proverbs 15:1 – one of the most practical verses for relationships
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
James is introducing a new rhythm and formula:

Formula:
The longer you’ll listen, the more you’ll learn, the less angry you’ll be.

When we’re just listening to reply, rather than to understand, we’re NOT learning anything.
WHY? Should we live this rhythm out…because human anger doesn’t produce, doesn’t cultivate the righteousness that God desires – the rightness of how to live God’s way!

Don’t say something permanently hurtful just because you’re temporarily upset. It stunts and short-circuits the relationship!
There are 3 agendas: (in any conflict)
There’s your agenda – I want you to see me as RIGHT
There’s their agenda – They want to be seen as RIGHT
There’s God’s agenda – I want THEM to be right relationally

Friends:
We want to be RIGHT AT one another.
God wants us to be RIGHT WITH ONE ANOTHER!
Sharing our opinions with one another, is optional; sharing our love one to another, is not.

James is highlighting a NEW RHYTHM NEEDED!!!
Quick to listen ….. Sllllooooowwww to speak, sllloooowww to become angry...
Quote:
To listen is very hard, because it asks of us so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, arguments, statements,...True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known. -Henri Nouwen
Differences can be and should be an invitation for dialogue, not division.
One last time, let this sink in – ask God to nudge you in your next step to take!!!

James 1:19-21 & 26
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

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IF YOU'RE NEW:
We throw a 10-minute party immediately following the service in the back corner of the room. If you're new, we'd love to meet you and we have a small gift for you! We also want invite you back with us next Sunday at 5pm as we continue our series together.