What You Say…and How You Say It

recklesswordsThis has been the most controversial week in our nation’s news that I can remember. It takes about ten seconds of television watching or internet surfing to realize that people are passionate—and disagreeing—about their beliefs. Things get hot quickly!

We are discussing many critically important ideas in our country right now, and Christians should be an important part of those conversations. How we speak in these times matters very much.

When Ephesians 4:15 says that we are to speak the truth in love, it is not only referring to the content of our speech, but also to the method of our speech.

Here’s a reminder: “Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing” (Proverbs 27:14). In other words, what we say can be totally accurate, but how we say it can destroy any good we could have done.

Before you comment on Facebook or argue at the water cooler, consider these words of God:

  • “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.” (Ephesians 4:29)
  • “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” (Psalm 141:3)
  • “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.” (Proverbs 18:13)
  • “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.” (Proverbs 26:4-5)
  • “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” (James 1:19)
  • “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.” (Matthew 12:36)

On the contrary, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11)

If you want to represent the faith in what you say, make sure that you represent it in how you say it!