How to Make a Wise Comment

Due to the fact that our first meeting in January was cancelled because of the weather, and that the Fraser’s were out of town for a month, the lesson “How to Make a Wise Comment” came before the lesson “The Reliability of the Bible”.  Hannah S. led the meeting while we were away and there were several others who stepped in to help with the activity and snacks.  Thank you all so much for your willingness to help out!

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For the lesson time, the girls learned that words are very powerful.  They have the power of life or death (Prov. 18:21).  We will give account for every idle word spoken (Matt. 12:36).  As ambassadors of Christ, we need to choose words that are meaningful, edifying, and profitable to others.  It is important that we learn to relate to others in a way that is respectable, thoughtful, and mature.  Learning good conversation skills is an important part of shining brightly for the Lord.

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Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” -Ephesians 4:29

For the activity time, Havala S. taught everyone how to make lip balm.  It was a fun and girly activity that everyone enjoyed.  You can use it to help you remember to watch the words that come out of your mouth.

 

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I am looking forward to seeing all of you again this Thursday… its been a long time and I can’t wait to see you again!

Gossip

Most girls love to talk! :)  And talking about other people tends to be one our favorite topics as young ladies.  It’s interesting to note that in His Word, God speaks specifically about women who gossip (1 Timothy 5:13-14).  We have a tendency to talk negatively about other people and not even think about what we’re saying. So that’s why our lesson last night was on the topic of gossip.

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The Bible has a lot to say about this topic, but since it doesn’t always specifically use the word gossip, we started out by defining some terms that we find in Scripture:

  • Gossip – idle talk about the affairs of others
  • Slander – false or damaging statements spoken with the intent of hurting another
  • Talebearer – one who gossips or reveals secrets
  • Whisperer – one spreads gossip or rumors
  • Backbiting – malicious talk about someone not present

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Gossip is very serious in God’s eyes.  We shouldn’t take it lightly.  In several places in the Bible, gossip is listed along with other very serious sins. These verses give us a good idea of what the Lord thinks about gossip: Rom. 1:29; 2 Cor. 12:20; Prov. 6:16-19; Lev. 19:16; Psalm 101:5

Gossip is very destructive: it spreads rumors and reveals secrets, it causes strife and conflict, it can ruin a person’s reputation, and it can ruin friendships – even between close friends.  Gossip is extremely damaging in families, churches, and all other relationships.  It may seem small, but the hurt, misunderstanding, anger, and divisions it causes often have disastrous consequences.

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People gossip for a variety of reasons: they might have ulterior motives for doing it (like pride, bitterness, jealousy, or wanting the spotlight), or they might simply do it because its interesting or fun, like “tasty morsels” (Prov. 26:22).  Gossip is very common, but that doesn’t make it right. We discussed some practical ways to deal with gossip in our lives:

What should we do when we’ve gossiped?

  • Apologize to the person to whom you gossiped; let them know that what you did was wrong
  • If appropriate (i.e. if its been repeated by others), apologize to the person whom you gossiped about

When someone apologizes for gossip you know that you can trust that person, because you know that they are committed to guarding their words, and if they make a mistake they are willing to clear it up.  We want to have that testimony of being trustworthy.  Also, since we know how hard it to apologize, this is an incentive not to gossip!

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How do we stop gossiping (or avoid listening to gossip)?

  • Memorize Scripture pertaining to words and gossip, and ask the Lord for His strength and help to guard your mouth.
  • Steer clear of friends who constantly gossip (Prov. 20:19).
  • Watch out for phrases that may signal gossip invading your conversation – “Don’t tell this to anyone else, but…”, “Did you hear about so-and-so…”, or “I don’t mean to say anything against so-and-so, but…”.
  • Be careful of what questions you ask (i.e. don’t ask things that invite your friend to share gossip with you).
  • Think of a nice way to explain to someone that you don’t want to be hearing their report – come up with a plan beforehand to help you be prepared if someone wants to share some gossip with you.
  • Imagine that the person you are tempted to gossip about is standing next to you: would you say it if they could hear you?

Also, it’s important not to form our opinions of people simply by what we hear someone else say.  Stories quickly get changed as it gets passed from person to person.  Remember, when we hear something second-hand, we don’t know the whole picture.

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How should we respond when others gossip about us?

  • Rejoice! (Matthew 5:11-12)
  • Give your reputation to God.  We belong to Him and represent Him.  He is able to protect our reputation.

One of the reasons that gossip is so dangerous is because it can be so subtle and can happen very easily.  Often we gossip without even realizing what we are saying.  Therefore we need to show much discernment and guard against it with vigilance.  Our words are very powerful (Prov. 18:21) and we want to be very wise with how use them.  Often times the effects of gossip can never be cleared up… once the words are spoken there’s no way to take them back and the damage is done.

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If we get into the habit not gossiping while we are young, it will be pleasing to the Lord, and will save us a lot of trouble both now and in the future.  We want to be “children of God, without fault” (Phil. 2:14-15) in this area of our lives.  So my challenge to you is this: let’s guard against gossip in our own lives and in our Bright Lights group!

For our activity we divided into two teams and played a couple of different versions of “Telephone”.  First, we played it the regular way, whispering a phrase from person to person.  Next, we had one team turn their backs and acted out the word one at a time while the other team watched it change from person to person.  And finally, the team had their backs turned again, as one person would act it out and the person would whisper it to the next person who would act it out and so on.  Playing this game demonstrated how quickly a story can change as it is passed from person to person.

Playing the game:

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Laughing at the results:

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Although it was a smaller group, we enjoyed a wonderful time of fellowship together as we sipped our tea and munched on our cookies.  See you all in two weeks!

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Our Words

BL 030Our meeting on February 14 was a bit different than usual – the normal small group leaders were all down South enjoying the warm weather in Florida and Texas, while we were recovering from a big snowstorm from earlier in the week. :)  Thanks so much to Mrs. Monica L. for playing the piano for our singing time (and Hannah for picking the songs for us), and for Abby and Katie stepping up to lead small groups.  Your help was such a blessing and encouragement.

Our topic was on our words.  We started out by reading James 3.  The tongue is either an instrument of much good, or great evil – power to bring life or death.  Because of this, our words is one of the biggest areas in our lives that require discernment.  God has much to say about this topic – there over 150 verses about words and speech in Proverbs alone!  We discussed the kinds of words that we shouldn’t use:

  • Bad words (swearing) – Exodus 20:7
  • Harmful words (gossip, blame, criticism, complaining, unkind, teasing) – Proverbs 12:18
  • False words (untrue, lying, deceit, exaggeration) – Psalm 34:13
  • Proud words – Proverbs 27:2
  • Inappropriate words – Ephesians 4:29
  • Unnecessary words – Psalm 71:24

And then we talked about the three kinds of words that we should use, found in Psalm 100:4–

  • Words of praise – we should praise God, praise others, and praise God to others.
  • Words of thanksgiving – it is important to show our gratefulness to God and others by taking time to say thanks.
  • Words of blessing – we can speak blessing by expressing our desire for others to have success in their life and ministry, explaining how God used them to benefit our life, sharing the gospel, giving words of comfort and encouragement in a difficult time, letting others know you are praying for them, etc.

For an object lesson on encouragement, we had a volunteer come up and stick her hand in a bowl of ice water.  The next girl who volunteered was encouraged by all the girls to keep going, and resulted in her keeping her hand in longer.  This was a reminder of how encouragement is so powerful in the lives of others.

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BL 037Then we talked about how what is in our heart is what going to come out in what we say to others (Luke 6:45, Matt. 15:18).  If we are thinking about the things of this world, its patterns will creep into our speech.  As young ladies seeking to be bright lights, we want our words to be spiritually edifying to others.  This cannot happen if we are thinking about worldly pleasures all the time.  As we think about things that honor the Lord, we will want to talk about those things and encourage others with our words.

We closed with an object lesson.  I had a volunteer come up to crumple and smash a piece of paper.  Upon having her apologize to the paper :), we unfolded it and smoothed it out.  But it still showed evidence of the rough treatment it received – there was no way to make it smooth again.  This was used to illustrate how our words can cause great pain in others lives and can ruin our testimony for the Lord.  We cannot take our words back once we say them, that’s why we need to show much discernment in this area of our lives.  Matthew 12:36 tells us that we must give account for every idle word that we say. This should motivate us to guard our mouths.

After the lesson, the girls were given some time to do a personal worksheet.  Then we divided into three small groups for for discussion on how we can guard our mouths.

Our activity was to memorize “tongue tamer” Bible verses.  We memorized one with pictures, one by repetition, one with partners, one by song, and one by actions.  We memorized 5 different verses in about 20 minutes!  It was a profitable activity, and also encouraged us that memorizing Scripture usually isn’t as hard as we think it is.

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Our snacks were Valentine’s Day themed – pink and red M&M cookies (Katie and Tami), beautifully decorated heart sugar cookies (Jenna), and chocolate cake with pink and red hearts (Mrs. F.).  Katie and Tami also brought a bouquet of roses mad out of Hershey kisses for everyone!

Since our meeting, we have been doing a 2-week “Psalm 19:14 Challenge“.  Each day there is an assignment for how to use our words in a way that is pleasing to the Lord.  It is our prayer that this challenge will help us learn to watch our every word throughout the day so that our speech will be spiritually edifying to those around us and pleasing to the Lord.

Here’s a great little poem that sums up our lesson:

A careless word may kindle strife;
A cruel word may wreck a life;
A timely word may level stress;
A loving word may heal and bless.
-Author Unknown