Watch Your Mouth!

“Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.”—2 Timothy 2:14 (NKJV)
It’s been well said that, “the Bible is an equal opportunity offender.” Eventually, it’s going to call everyone’s sin out. We’re about to see this principle put to action as we look at a command we’ve all been guilty of breaking.
This command centers on what comes out of our mouths. In Paul’s second letter to Timothy above, he reminds his understudy how important it is for people to not “strive about words.” What does striving about words look like, exactly?
The idea is someone who is constantly arguing and debating issues. They need to get the last word in on everything and just won’t let it go—much like a dog with a chew-toy. There’s a place for sanctified stubbornness in certain matters (Jude 1:4), but we’re talking about someone who doesn’t know when and where to draw the line.  They’re characterized by a combative nature.
This hits home with many—but not all—of us. But the Bible takes things even further. Watch what Paul writes to the Philippian church: “Do all things without complaining and disputing” (Philippians 2:14 NKJV).
In addition to not striving, we’re also called to not complain or dispute. This widens the circle significantly because just about all of us have first-hand experience with complaining. And the word here for “dispute” represents a negative and doubtful disposition towards everything. It’s always speaking as if the glass is half-empty.
God identifies these forms of speech as sin, and we see why He speaks so seriously against them as we read on in Philippians: “That you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15 NKJV).
Here’s the truth: our speech life is establishing a testimony of our lives, one way or another. When we strive, complain, and dispute, we really blend in with the rest of the world around us. But when our words are different, our testimony will be different as well. God’s Word says we will stand out in a good way, we will be blameless, and we will shine as lights in this world.
When we watch out mouths, the world will watch our lives and witness the difference Christ can make in one’s life!
DIG: How is the Bible an equal opportunity offender?
DISCOVER: Why is it so important to watch what comes out of our mouths?
DISPLAY: What are some practical ways you can improve your speech life?

About the Author

Pastor Dan Hickling

Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.