Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Dear Colleagues,


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One important truth the Scriptures teach us about this issue of speech is that with our tongue we have the power to either breathe life into people or suck it out of them:  The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit (Pro. 18:21). (See Pro. 10:21, 31; Col. 3:6)

Also, the Scriptures enjoin us to refrain from:

  Obscenity (Greek: morologia):  Filthy speech, telling repulsive stories (along with indecent behavior).  (See Eph. 5:4)

  Foolish talk (Greek: euteiapelia):  Silly, purposeless talk. That is, vulgar or dirty talk; to act or speak without thought; to be suggestive in conversation; buffoonery, repartee, ribaldry. By contrast our speech is to reflect thanksgiving. (See Eph. 5:4)

  Empty words (Greek: kenon):  Senseless, groundless, useless, vain words, void of all meaning and truth, of such things the wrath of God is coming on those who disobey (Eph. 5:6) 

  Unwholesome talk (Greek: sapros):  Bad, rotten, putrid speech. Rather, we are to only to speak that which is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Eph. 4:29).

  Dirty language (Greek: asichrologia): Vile conversation, foul mouthed abuse: But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips (Col. 3:8).

  Slander (Greek: katalalia):  Backbiting, defamation, speaking critically of another person with the intent to hurt:  Brothers, do not slander one anotherAnyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it (Eph. 4:31a; James 4:11, 12).  (See Lev. 19:16)

By way of contrast, the word of God instructs us to let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with saltLive in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing (Col. 4:6; I Pet. 3:8b, 9). (See Pro. 10:31, 32; 12:13; 15:2-4, 7, 23; 16:21; 25:11, 12)

 CONCLUSION:  The gravity of the speech issue is driven home in Christs warning that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matt. 12:36b, 37).

This week may you experience His grace, peace and protection.

R. Dwight Hill

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