To Tell The Truth

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ (Eph. 4:15).

I once knew a well intended Christian who went to a sister in Christ to offer instruction on the error of her way. There was little doubt that the sister in question was caught up in activities that were harmful as well as sinful. The unfortunate end, however, to the unsolicited counsel was that the sister felt judged, scorned and humiliated. While it is true she may have felt that way no matter how she was approached; it is also true that the well intended Christian may have done well to administer the truth in love, rather than in accusation.
There is a song by Michael Card called, "The Final Word." One of the lines in the song states, "You and me we use so very many clumsy words, the noise of what we often say is not worth being heard." The Bible has a lot to say about the lot we say:

"When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise" (Prov.10:19).
"The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment" (Prov.10:21).
"With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous escape" (Prov.11:9).
"Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" (Prov.12:18).
"He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin" (Prov.13:3).
"A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even tempered" (Prov.17:27).
"Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue" (Prov.17:28).

Our words are powerful. They can be used to encourage and edify, or they can be used to attack and humiliate. We often forget the power of the spoken word, and are all too often careless with what is said. Jesus tells us in Matthew 12:36, "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." He also said, "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man" (Matthew 15:11).
With every spoken word comes a great responsibility in the administration of a word. This is not to make us overly anxious, or overly self conscious. But it is to make us take care in what comes out of our mouths, that our mouths become nurturing rivers of life, and not loose cannons. Pray today that God will teach you about the power of a word, and that He will help you to speak with wisdom, restraint and grace.

Pleasant words are a honey comb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones (Prov.16:24).


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