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What the Bible Says About Civility

June 28, 2020 Speaker: Jeff Bedwell Series: Common Ground

Topic: racism, race Passage: Ephesians 4:29–4:32

Series: Common Ground
Message: What The Bible Says About Civility
Scripture: Ephesians 4:29-32

Challenges To Having A Helpful Conversation Around Race:

  • Argument Culture
  • Culture of Offense

Characteristics of Crucial Conversations:

  • Opinions vary
  • Stakes are high
  • Emotions run strong

Patterson, Kerry. (Eds.) (2012) Crucial Conversations: tools for talking when stakes are high New York : McGraw-Hill

Having A Better Conversation

  1. Seek First to Understand

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19–20)

Ask Yourself:

  • What do I really Want?
  • Why would a reasonable, rational, decent person say, think or believe this?

Ask Of Another:

  • Help me to Understand
  • What do you Mean by…
  • Let me see if I understand you on this…
  • How did you come to that Conclusion?

Object here is to be a Student not a Critic

  1. Understand the Power of Words

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18)

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” (Proverbs 18:21)

  1. Steward Well the Power of Words

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)

A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4)

T.H.I.N.K. Before Your Speak

T – Is it True?
H – Is it Helpful?
I – Is it Intentional?

  • What is my purpose in sharing this?
  • What is my tone in saying this?
  • Am I saying this to the right person in the right way?

N – Is it Necessary?
K – Is it Kind?

  • There is a difference between kind and Nice
  1. Extend Grace and Forgiveness

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

Words Reveal

But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.” (Matthew 15:18)

“For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34)

It is a matter of the Heart before it is a matter of the Mouth

What is really going to help heal our world is not just better conversational skills, but Transformed Hearts

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:25–26)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

The New Community

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”” (Revelation 7:9–10)

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”” (John 13:34–35)

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"Our biggest problem is not the pervasiveness of the darkness but the failure of the light." Daniel Henderson

Making It Personal:

  • One truth I need to meditate on is…
  • One specific action that I believe God is calling me to take is…
  • Who can you share these truths with?

More in Common Ground

June 21, 2020

What The Bible Says About Racism

June 14, 2020

What the Bible Says About Race