What we say could be a good indication of who we are!
Our words are powerful and at times very hurtful. As I was preparing to preach through James 3:1-12 this week I was remind how important it is that we examine what comes out of our mouth. With our mouth we can praise the Lord and with our mouth we can tear one another down.
As I examine the words of my own mouth, I rejoice that I have a belief in the Gospel and His forgiveness. I pray that we strive for that holy and blameless life and one that will glorify the greatness and goodness of God.
May our conversation be words of grace as we consider the following verses and the helps from Timothy Keller.
29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says,he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
(These communication guidelines were provided by Timothy Keller.)
Proverbs 18:21; 25:11; Job 19:2; James 3:8-10; I Peter 3:10; Ephesians 4:25-32
1. Be a ready listener and do not answer until the other person has finished talking (Prov. 18:13; James 1:19).
2. Be slow to speak. Think first. Don’t be hasty in your words. Speak in such a way that the other person can understand and accept what you say (Prov. 15:23,28; 29:20; James 1:19).
3. Don’t go to bed angry! Each day clear the offenses of that day. Speak the truth always, but do it in love. Do not exaggerate (Eph. 4:15, 25; Col. 3:8; Matt. 6:34).
4. Do not use silence to frustrate the other person. Explain why you are hesitant to talk at this time (Prov. 15:28; 16:21,23; 10:1-9; 18:2; Col. 4:6; Prov. 20:15).
5. Do not become involved in quarrels. It is possible to disagree without quarreling (Prov. 17:14; 20:3; Rom. 13:13; Eph. 4:31).
6. Do not respond in uncontrolled anger. Use a soft and kind response and tone of voice (Prov. 14:29; 15:1; 25:15; 29:11; Eph. 4:26, 31).
7. When you are in the wrong, admit it and ask for forgiveness and ask how you can change (James 5:16; Prov. 12:15; 16:2; 21:2, 29; 20:6; Matt. 5:23-25; Luke 17:3).
8. When someone confesses to you, tell him/her you forgive him/her. Be sure it is forgiven and not brought up to the person, to others, or to yourself! (Prov. 17:9; Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13; I Pet. 4:8).
9. Avoid nagging (Prov. 10:19; 17:9; 16:21, 23; 18:6, 7; 27:15; 21:19).
10. Do not blame or criticize the other person. Instead, restore . . . encourage . . . edify (Rom. 14:13; Gal. 6:1; I Thess. 5:11).
11. If someone verbally attacks, criticizes, or blames you, do not respond in the same manner (Rom. 12:17, 21; I Pet. 2:23; 3:9)
12. Try to understand the other person’s opinion. Make allowances for differences (Prov. 18:2, 13, 15; Phil. 3:15, 16).
13. Be concerned about the interests of others (Phil: 2:3; Eph. 4:2; Rom. 12:15)