Pristine Grace

Use the Tongue for Good, Not Evil
by Jim Byrd
Use the Tongue for Good, Not Evil

     There are many admonitions and warnings in the Word of God regarding the tongue. “The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth” (Proverbs 10:20).“There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health” (Proverbs 12:18). “The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness” (Proverbs 15:2). “The tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, howgreat a matter a little fire kindeth. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:5-6, 8).

     The tongue, when moved by the Holy Spirit, can preach the gospel of the grace of God; it can speak of the glorious person and successful redemptive accomplishments of the Lord Jesus Christ. The tongue can be used to speak words of encouragement; it can utter expressions of comfort to the troubled and peace to the distressed. The Psalmist requested, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). It is not surprising that David prayed that his heart-meditation would be accepted by the Lord, but we tend to forget that the same petition was offered with regard to his words, that they also would be pleasing to Jehovah our Savior. We want our words to be honoring to God and useful to those who hear us. “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” (Ephesians 4:29).

     All of our words should be honoring to the Lord and beneficial to those to whom we speak. Paul admonished Titus to use “sound speech which cannot be condemned” (Titus 2:8). Certainly, every preacher of the gospel is to use “sound speech” from the pulpit, that is, words that are wholesome and of spiritual benefit to those who listen, words that are truthful to sinners, honoring to Christ and glorying to the name of our God. But shouldn’t every child of the Lord also seek to use “sound speech?” Let us employ our words in a constructive way, for the glory of Christ and the good of those to whom we speak. Let us not, through the use of malicious, hateful or vile words, give the enemies of the gospel ammunition for use against the gospel of Christ. Let us “adorn the doctrine of God our Savior” (Titus 2:10) in word as well as deed. “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:6). What salt is to meat, making it tasteful and desirable, that’s what grace is to our speech. If our words are not honoring to God and truly useful to others, let us not speak at all.