31 July 2008

What Is Acceptable: Part 3 – 3.18.08

Let's conclude our consideration of speech that is acceptable by putting some thought to not only what we say, but how we say it. Any female can tell you that both are important and that how you say what you say can make what you say have a totally different meaning. Guys, I know we don't understand it all that well, but both what you say and how you say it really are important. And the Bible does say that there is a way in which a Christian should speak.

It's not enough to say the right thing. We are called upon by God to say the right thing in the right way. Quick example. A Christian should talk about God's judgment, true? Yes. But when speaking about God's judgment, it would be wrong for a Christian to sound excited or happy as if he cannot wait for that judgment to fall. Plain enough. Simple enough.

So here are a few principles.

1. Be completely honest. Tell the whole truth. Remember guile? Don't tell the truth in such a way as to give a false impression. Tell the truth in such a way as to give a right impression.

  • Proverbs 8:7-8…For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.
  • Jeremiah 17:16…That which came out of my lips was right before thee.
  • Malachi 2:6…The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips.

2. Use tact. Wisdom is the proper application of knowledge. A Christian ought to speak the truth of what he knows, and he ought to do so in such a way as to benefit others.

  • Proverbs 15:2…The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.
  • Proverbs 15:7…The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.

3. Be kind. Be gracious. Be merciful. Your mouth shouldn't drip with syrupy mush, but if you're talking about God, love is a large part of His nature. And that should be evidenced in how we say what we say.

  • Proverbs 25:15…By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.
  • Proverbs 15:1…A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.
  • Proverbs 31:26…She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is a law of kindness.
  • Proverbs 16:21…The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.
  • Ecclesiastes 10:12…The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.
  • Colossians 4:6…Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
  • Ephesians 4:15…But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.

May the words of our mouths be acceptable in the sight of God.

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