No, this is not a treatise on the poetic, albeit delusional, love verses sung by the effervescent Sebastian when trying to subliminally persuade Prince Eric to lay a wet one on Ariel. This is a quick, but hopefully thought provoking, look at what scripture says about our conduct, tongue/ mouth, and words…. Words will be the main focus (Do you see the connection now?). However, seeing as the other terms are irrevocably intertwined with this word, they will be touched upon as well. You know, it all flooows, like wind…. *cough* soldiering on…
I feel it is necessary to preface this “outline” by informing you that most of the content is from the notes by Henry M. Morris in my Bible, which is The New Defender’s Study Bible (King James Version). During my study of words, I compiled a list of verses and their corresponding notes, thereby making a quick comprehensive reference. And that is what I’m sharing with you (with a few extra thoughts thrown in)! I hope it blesses you as it did me.
A. Colossians 4:6 (KJV)- “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”
“Speech” here is the Greek logos, often translated “word.” Our words are to be gracious and tasteful, seasoned with salt, but also a Christians words should be:
Sound: Titus 2:8-9 “But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”
* It is vital to guard both the Word and its’ words against opponents. It is also important to exhort those who believe the Word to act on it, and also to convince those who reject it, being ready always to give an appropriate answer to problems and objections. Those who are contrary will not have a rebuttal.
Edifying: Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” and then Ephesians 5:4 “Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking nor jesting, which are not convenient; but rather giving of thanks.”
* It seems surprising at first glance that “foolish talking” and “jesting” would be condemned as in the same category of sins as fornication and filthiness. Nevertheless, there are many biblical warnings against “every idle word” (Ma 12:36), and it may be significant that the only biblical reference to “jesting” is a warning against it. Sin and salvation are sober, serious issues. Therefore our speech should draw others to Christ, not push them away. We must be examples of Biblical morality in this morally depraved world.
Meaningful: Matthew 12:36 “But I say unto you; That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”
* Evidently the words men speak will have a bearing on their degrees of reward in Heaven, or degrees of suffering in hell.
Quiet: 1 Thessalonians 4: 7-8, 11-12 “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit… And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.”
* vs. 7-8: God hasn’t called us into uncleanness, but holiness. We are to be holy in all areas of our life including how we speak. The Holy Spirit indwells within us. We are temples, therefore it is insulting to Him to engage in any behavior that is unclean. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”)
* vs. 11-12: One should “diligently strive” to be silent and calm except when speaking is necessary, gracious, and purposeful. Christ soberly warns against every “idle word”, and Paul warns against “foolish talking”. Also we are not to be meddlers in the affairs of others. In other words, mind your own business and don’t gossip! (1 Peter 4:15 “But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.” busybody = meddler)
Trustworthy: Colossians 3:9-10 “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him…”
* It is simple, do not lie to one another. We must mean what we say and say what we mean. How can we win others to Christ if we can’t be trusted.
Clean: Colossians 3:8 “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.”
* As in verse 10 (see trustworthy), We are to put on the “new man” which is “renewed in knowledge” after Christ who is our ultimate example of conduct.
* Ephesians 4:22 “That ye put off concerning that former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts…” Put off old conduct which is corrupt.
B. Conversation = Behavior
Luke 6:45 (NASB) “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”
*Listen to your own words and you will get clear indicator of your character.
* You may be the only “Jesus” someone will ever encounter, let your conduct, your lifestyle honor the King who died on the cross for all mankind. Speak with, in, and through love.
*The word “conversation” can be translated to mean conduct, lifestyle, and behavior. Two scriptural examples of this are:
* 2 Corinthians 1:12 “For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world…” We are not to conduct ourselves through “fleshly wisdom”.
* 1 Corinthians 2:4 “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power…”
If we have “grace in [our] hearts”, we can exhibit grace in our speech. In ordinary conversation, we need to have a gracious and helpful reply to whatever is being said or asked.
* Colossians 4:6 (again) “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”
* Colossians 3:16- 17 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the father by him.”
C. Controlling one’s tongue
Christians are commanded to keep their speech in the context of a possible testimony for the Lord. It should never be deceptive, abrasive, trivial, inane, fearful, compromising, idle, or hurtful to our Christian witness in any way. It should be: (NIV ’84)
Truthful: Ephesians 4:25 “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.”
* By putting on the “new man” we cast out old ways of speaking. The new man must speak in truth, by truth, and of truth for we are members of one body unified to bring glory to the Father.
Gracious: Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
* Our speech is to be free from corruption, but it is to be filled with that which is edifying and ministers to the hearts of others.
Serious: Ephesians 5:4 “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.”
Relevant: Colossians 4:6 “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
Courageous: 1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…”
* Our “answer[s]” in defense of the Gospel are to be careful and logical; never boastful, arrogant, prideful, or ignorant.
Corrective: Titus 1:9 “He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”
* Hold fast to the word. Guard it and be able to give an appropriate answer to problems and objections.
Always Purposeful: Matthew 12:36 “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.
As a Testimony for the Lord: 2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”
Proverbs on the Tongue (NIV ’84):
Proverbs 18:21 “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Proverbs 10:19 “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.”
Proverbs 12:13 “An evil man is trapped by his sinful talk, but a righteous man escapes trouble.
Proverbs 13:2-3 “From the fruit of his lips a man enjoys good things, but the unfaithful have a craving for violence. He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.”
Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
The tongue as a flame:
James 3:5-6 “Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”
If the tongue is a flame, think of what it could potentially ignite for Christ when used for good and not evil!!
Word out- Monica (yes, i just said that)