A Study on the Topic of Conversation and Communication
"Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt ...." Col. 4:6
What we say, and how we say it reveals a lot more about ourselves than we care to admit. There has been a general coarsening of conversation in our country over the last fifty years. Words that our grandparents would never think of uttering are now common place. Profanity that never used to be heard on television and radio is now an every-day occurrence. Increasingly, public figures use God’s name in vain, violating the Third Commandment with impunity. Adults and even small children use crude and obscene language that would make people blush a generation or two ago.
God is very careful about what He says. We are told that God “cannot lie” (Titus 1:2). This is true because “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).
James, Jesus’ half brother, and a leading figure in the early Church warned fellow Christians that “no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing.” He concluded, “ My brethren, these things ought not to be that way” (James 3:8-10).
Jesus cautioned us that, in the day of judgment, each one of us will have to give an account for every careless word we have uttered (Matthew 12:36). He warned, “whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops” (Luke 12:3).
We as Christians are to reflect God’s standard of speech. Christians are exhorted, “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person” (Colossians 4:6).
Peter, the most outspoken of the original Twelve Apostles wrote, “To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 1:8-9).
So how are you and I doing? What does our conversation say about our character?