What To Do When Words Get Ugly

What To Do When Words Get Uglyby Dr. Michael D. Sedler
Published by Chosen Books (a division of Baker Book House Company), 2001

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This practical book addresses the issues of gossip and criticism in our daily conversations. Using Biblical and personal examples, the author illustrates the destructive force found within our negative words.


Chapter 1 – The Power of the Spoken Word
This chapter lays the foundation for the book. The author Biblically defines gossip as an evil report. Utilizing an example from the book of Daniel, the reader sees the impact of listening to gossip and criticism.

Chapter 2 – Here Comes the Pitch: Being on the Alert
A clear, step-by-step analysis that helps the reader to identify a person who is prone to giving negative reports and promoting gossip.

Chapter 3 – Controlling the Tongue
This chapter gives practical guidelines to help people who get trapped in ungodly conversations. In addition, positive and Biblical responses to gossip are discussed.

Chapter 4 – Attitude: The Cornerstone of Life
We will see how attitude impacts the way we perceive the world around us as well as how we relate to others.

Chapter 5 – Why Do We Gossip?
The area of “confusion” is presented as an initial track that may ultimately lead us to deception in our lives. Confusion is a major stumbling block to our growth in God.

Chapter 6 – Keeping Free from Verbal Contamination
The second track leading to deception. The importance of increasing our “spiritual senses” is discussed.

Chapter 7 – Subtle Seductions in Conversation
The third track leading to deception. Seven types of “evil reporters” are presented (backbiters, complainers, and slanderers, to name a few). A powerful Biblical illustration of Aaron and Moses is used to support this chapter.

Chapter 8 – Avoiding False Alignments
The fourth track leading to deception. The story of Absalom and David is presented and the strategy used by Absalom to “steal the hearts of a nation”. In our churches, people use this same strategy to separate people from the leadership.

Chapter 9 – What Happens When Fear Talks?
The fifth track leading to deception. Biblical insights into the story of Lazarus. Mary and Martha and the impact of fear upon their lives.

Chapter 10 – How to Judge Impurity
The final track leading to deception. Characteristics of impurity illustrated by the example of Shimei (II Samuel 16) and personal account of the author’s growing up in a Jewish home.

Chapter 11 – Walking and Speaking in Truth
The aforementioned tracks lead along the pathway ending up in deception. Six dramatic signs or symptoms of deception are discussed, with Biblical examples of each.

Chapter 12 – The Cleansing Process
This chapter utilizes the Biblical example of Naaman, the leper, as a framework to spiritual cleansing. Detailed strategies for becoming cleansed from hurts, disappointment and criticism.

Chapter 13 – Words That Heal
Words can hurt or heal. This chapter emphasizes the importance of speaking healing, healthy words to others.

Chapter 14 – Restoring Relationships
Understanding the process for restoration of a relatioship is the focus of this chapter. Whether at work, with family, or friends, healing old wounds is important.

Chapter 15 – Closer to Home
The final chapter focuses on families, parents, children, youth groups and other areas of personal interaction. Eight guidelines are given to guard your home from being defiled by evil reports.