When you show up, do you put water or gas on the fire? Everyone has two buckets in their life. One bucket is filled with water, one bucket is filled with gas. As you walk through life, you have to deal with people and what they say. From gossip, criticism, negativity, you will have to deal with words that come out of the mouth of people. The junk that comes out of people’s mouths we call fire. In every conversation, you will have to decide how you deal with that fire. You can take your bucket of water and throw it on the fire and make it helpful. You can take your bucket of gas and throw it on the fire and make it a disaster. So, when you show up, do you put water or gas on the fire?

3 quick points about the words that come out of your mouth.

Point 1: Words come from your heart. We know this because Jesus said, …the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart. NIV Matthew 15:18 If you want to know who someone is, just listen to them. Are you dating? Listen to the person you are dating, and they will reveal who they are. Thinking of hiring someone? Listen to them talk. Want to know someone’s character? Listen to what they complain about?

Point 2: Words of gossip are like candy to the soul.   Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy; do you really want junk like that in your belly?   MSG Proverbs 18:8 If you like spreading gossip and hearing gossip, it’s equal to eating junk food for the soul. As much as you enjoy it in the moment, over time, it will riot your soul. The reason you like it, feed on it and can’t stop is the same reason people eat junk food, it gives you a sugar rush. The problem is, you become an unhealthy person.

Point 3: Words of criticism say a lot about you.   Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. But God isn’t so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you’ve done.   MSG Romans 2:1-2 The reason criticism is so easy for us is because we hate working on the junk in our hearts. It’s much easier to rip into our spouse, our church, other people at work or school. Every time you spread judgmental criticism, you are telling the world, I am messed up inside and I don’t want to deal with it.

So when you so up, do you throw water or gas on the fire? James, the brother of Jesus wrote this.

3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8 but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.   10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. NIV James 3:3-12

If you are dating, listen to what comes out of their mouth.

If you are hiring someone, listen to what comes out of their mouth.

If you are friends, listen to what comes out of their mouth.

If you are raising children, listen to what comes out of their mouth.

If you want to know more about you, listen to what comes out of your mouth?

Why? The words people use, reveal the true heart inside the person.

A good man thinks before he speaks; the evil man pours out his evil words without a thought. TLB Proverbs 15:28 Who are you? Do words just come out of your mouth with no filters? Do you feed on gossip, do you spread judgmental criticism or anger? Or do you think before words come out of your mouth.

Please hear me. Words are spiritual. And, the words you use come from your heart. You have power within you to impact every relationship you are in. You can throw water or gas on the fire.

Practical things.

  1. When in doubt, keep the pie hole shut.
  2. When you speak, build people up. Quick point. As parents or leaders, you need to address things. Obviously. Common sense says, this talk about relationships that you are in and                must be applied differently in different situations.
  3. When you can’t build people up, refer to #1.

Here is what I want you to see. What comes out of your mouth gets its start in your heart. If you can’t live a life that builds people up, you need to so some heart work. Maybe you are angry. Chances are, you need to forgive someone or yourself. Maybe you are controlling. Chances are, you need to allow God to love you. Maybe you are jealous. Chances are, you need to learn how to celebrate people. Maybe you are greedy. Chance are you give to God and others. Maybe you are just hurtful. Chances are, you need God to heal your soul. Maybe you are a victim. You complain about how it’s easier for everyone else. Maybe you need to take ownership of your life and allow God in to heal you.

Let ask you, when you show up, do you put water or gas on the fire?