Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 2 Timothy 4:2.
The power of speech is a talent that should be diligently cultivated. Of all the gifts we have received from God, none is capable of being a greater blessing than this. With the voice we convince and persuade; with it we offer praise and prayer to God; and with it we tell others of the Redeemer’s love. Not one word is to be spoken unadvisedly. No evil speaking, no frivolous talk, no fretful repining or impure suggestions, will escape the lips of him who is following Christ.
The apostle Paul, writing by the Holy Spirit, says, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth” (Ephesians 4:29). A corrupt communication does not mean only words that are vile. It means any expression contrary to holy principles and pure and undefiled religion. It includes impure hints and covert suggestions of evil. Unless instantly resisted, these lead to great sin.
Upon every family, upon every individual Christian, is laid the duty of barring the way against corrupt speech. When [we are] in the company of those who indulge in foolish talk, it is our duty to change the subject of conversation if possible. By the help of the grace of God, we should try to drop words or introduce a subject that will turn the conversation into a profitable channel.
Our words should be words of praise and thanksgiving. If the mind and heart are full of the love of God, this will be revealed in the conversation. It will not be a difficult matter to impart that which enters into our spiritual life. Great thoughts, noble aspirations, clear perceptions of truth, unselfish purposes, yearnings for piety and holiness, will bear fruit in words that reveal the character of the heart treasure. When Christ is thus revealed in our speech, it will have a power in winning souls to Him.
We should speak of Christ to those who know Him not. We should do as Christ did. Wherever He was, in the synagogue, by the wayside, in the boat thrust out a little from the land, at the Pharisee’s feast or the table of the publican, He spoke to men of the things pertaining to the higher life.—The Signs of the Times, July 2, 1902.
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