Thursday, March 20, 2014
“Put Off the Old Man” Part 2
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It’s Thursday, March 20, 2014, I’m Robert Hatfield and this program delivers daily thoughts for new Christians. This is THE NEW YOU!
But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth (Col. 3:8).
Are you wearing your steel-toed boots? If not, you might ought to grab them real quick. I don’t think there’s any topic that steps on toes as much as the topic of speech and how we use our tongues. You know the old adage that says: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Honestly, there’s just not a lot of truth to that. We’ve all experienced the pain of hurtful words. I know that I have also been guilty of using my words to hurt others.
On Tuesday, we looked at Colossians 3:5 where Paul listed five sexually oriented sins. We noted that sin can hurt in two ways: subjectively and objectively, and we looked specifically at the subjective, that is, personal hurt that sin can bring to our souls. Today, though, we shift to the objective pain of sin as we discuss the way our words can harm other people. Interestingly, just as Paul listed five sins in verse five, he lists five sins in verse eight. Each of these are sins of attitude and speech.
First, Paul says that we are to put off anger. There is a type of anger that is not sinful. Eph. 4:26 says “Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath.” But there is also a type of anger that is sinful. It is to that sinful type of anger that Paul here refers. This is the outbursting of passion and temper that springs from personal resentment and provocation. Paul says to put that off, to remove it from oneself as quickly as possible.
Next, there’s the word wrath. Admittedly, wrath and anger have very close meanings. Wrath is anger built up and turned into a vengeful rage. Have you ever seen someone this angry? It truly is not a pretty sight. Few wise decisions are made in bursts of anger and wrath. These attitudes are certainly not Christ like.
Third, the new man must put off malice. This is evil intention against one who has made me angry. Some suggest that malice is the worst of all the sins listed here because it is rooted and deliberate, anger heightened and settled. Malice is that rotten attitude that drives us to seek revenge through evil thoughts, evil words, or even evil actions. May these things be far from God’s people.
Fourth in the list is blasphemy. While we generally think of blasphemy being something that is against God, the term is broader than that. It actually refers to speech directed against the good character of another. The New Testament describes blasphemy against God Himself, against the name of God, against God’s Word, and against our fellow man.
Note the progression portrayed in these terms. It begins with anger, escalates to wrath, then malice, then blasphemy. Anger takes root inside of the human heart and hardens it to other people’s feelings. Matured anger causes us to feel entitled and to look out only for ourselves instead of the interests of others. We lash out with our speech and our actions against other people and, in so doing, we bring shame to the Lord Whose name we wear.
Finally, Paul lists “filthy language out of your mouth.” Lightfoot describes this as fowl-mouthed abuse. He’s right. There’s no place in the Christian’s vocabulary for words that tear down and abuse.
Let’s wrap it up: You have to watch your tongue. It’s in a wet place and is liable to slip. God is concerned with how we treat others, and the verse we have examined today illustrates that sin not only harms the sinner; it can – and does – also hurt those around us. Let’s guard our hearts from unChristian attitudes and words as we seek to live like the new you daily.
Memory Verse: If we’ll follow the instructions of this week’s memory verse, then we will control our attitudes and our speech.
Jeremiah 10:23: “O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.”
Sometime today: Read once again from John 4:23-24 and think about what Jesus means by saying we must worship God “in truth.” That’s tomorrow’s topic for The New You. How’s THAT for a tease?!
Thanks for joining today me on The New You. Archives of this program and more Christian podcasts can be found online at thelightnetwork.tv.
Your questions for Q & A Saturday are always welcome! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or ask your question by phone via my Google voicemail number, which is 903-265-4448.
I’ll meet you tomorrow for another edition of The New You.
I leave you today with a simple verse, Ephesians 4:29, which says, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” I’ll meet you here tomorrow!