From Bishop Jemmott’s The Bishop’s Pen article for June 2017 entitled “Deceptive Words!”
The following is a quote from “The Power of Words” written by Marvin William:
Nelson Mandela, who opposed the South African apartheid regime and was imprisoned for almost three decades, knew the power of words. He is often quoted today, but while in prison his words could not be quoted for fear of repercussion. A decade after his release he said: “It is never my custom to use words lightly. If 27 years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are, and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die.”
King Solomon, the author of most of the Old Testament book of Proverbs, often wrote about the power of words. He said, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverb 18:21). Words have the potential to produce positive or negative consequences (v. 20). They have the power to give life through encouragement and honesty or to crush and kill through lies and gossip. How can we be assured of producing good words that have a positive outcome? The only way is by diligently guarding our hearts: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverb 4:23 NIV).”
Words have the power to encourage or to destroy. As believers, we not only need to guard the words that come out of our mouths, but we must also guard against the kind of words we allow to enter our ear gate, specifically deceptive words. Deceptive words are words that give the appearance or impression different from the true one; deceptive words are misleading words.
People who practice deception are excellent at what they do. They can appear to have your best interest at heart, but their motives are selfish, and they are only looking out for their own gratification. The Prophet Jeremiah warned the Israelites that they were being deceived by their leaders. “But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.” Jeremiah 7:8 (NIV)
Yes, leaders are capable of deceiving their followers. Having the title Bishop, Prophet, Pastor, Minister or Evangelist does not make us immune from being deceptive people. The only thing that prevents us from being deceptive people is our character. Dr. Myles Monroe said the following about character and deception: “Solid character will reflect itself in consistent behavior, while poor character will seek to hide behind deceptive words and actions.”
People who practice deception talk out of both sides of their mouth. Here is what Solomon said about deceptive talk: “Put away from you a deceitful mouth and put devious speech far from you.” Proverbs 4:24 (NASB) Put it away! In other words, don’t allow deceptive words to come out of your mouth and don’t allow deceptive words to enter your ear gate. You may ask, since those who practice deceptive words are good at deception, how do I tell the difference, or how do I guard against it? Dr. Monroe gives us the answer. “Solid character and consistent behavior…”
“Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don’t be impressed with charisma; look for character.”
Matthew 7:15-16 (MSG)
Purchase Bishop Jemmott’s books and sermons here.