Wednesday, March 13, 2013

You Don't Say!


A few weeks ago, I was chatting with my family. We were talking about Facebook.

More specifically, we were talking about what we don’t like about Facebook or the people that are on Facebook. {Don’t give me that innocent face...you don’t like people on Facebook, too. Admit it.}

In the course of conversation, I made this comment: “She is the.most.annoying. person to have as a Facebook friend.”

I didn’t mean it in a malicious or mean way. I didn’t mean that I thought she was a horrible person and no one should ever be her friend, on Facebook or otherwise. I just meant her posts were not up my alley, and I would have rather not had them cluttering up my newsfeed. That is all.

Three days later, I got word that she had passed away.

She was not a lady I knew very well. I had not even seen her for nearly 10 years. But I was convicted that the last thing I had said about her had been negative and unnecessary.

The Bible has so, so much to say about our words. We know and understand the admonitions against lying, deceit, anger, and other sins we can commit with our tongue. But what about negative, unnecessary, and idle words? Does the Bible have anything to say about those?

Oh yes, my friend. It surely does.

Proverbs 29:20
Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope of a fool than of him.

Ouch.

We could paraphrase that verse with the maxim, “Think before you speak!” It is so true! A similar verse says,

In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.
Proverbs 10:19

Are you about to say something about someone else? Just stop. Many times you will change your mind! Are you babbling on just to make conversation? Just stop! There is an old quote that says, “Better to be quiet and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” We would be a lot better off if we followed that truth! So many of our words are just simply unnecessary to say out loud...stop them before they come out!

The verse that perhaps convicts me the most in the area of my speech {and thoughts!} is Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there by any praise, think on these things.

If the thoughts I am thinking about others are lined up with the criteria in this verse, those idle, unnecessary words are not going to come out of my mouth. On the flip side, if my thoughts are not lined up with this list, they are probably sin! So therefore the words that follow those thoughts are sin as well. How convicting!

Lets take a minute and examine our words based on these criteria:

Are my words true? Or am I telling a falsehood?
Are they honest? Or am I using flattery to win friends?
Are they just? Are they fair to the other person?
Are they pure? Or am I saying this with a double meaning?
Are they lovely? Will they edify the other?
Are they of good report? If they are repeated, with they still line up with these criteria?
Are they virtuous? Am I explaining the way of God more perfectly? (Acts 18:24-28)
Are they full of praise? For God and for others?

Convicting? Oh yes. So much so, that it is hard to read that verse!

But necessary? Oh, abundantly so. We would all do well to check our words with this verse on a regular basis.

One final verse to ponder as we consider this important topic:

Proverbs 21:23
Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.

God’s word gives us the answer: we can keep ourselves out of trouble by keeping a check on our tongue and the words we speak.

I am often convicted about my speech, even to the extent that I have made this topic a deep study many times over the past few years. Every time I study what God’s word has to say on the subject, and am convicted and challenged about another area that needs work. Clearly, I still have a ways to go. :) Will you join me in carefully examining your own speech, and seeing if your words line up with Scripture?

Let's be known as wise women by the words that we say...or don’t say!

Proverbs 31:26
She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness.


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