Watching Your WordsBro. David Chancellor
12/4/2005 11:00 AM
Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred. How forcible are right words! But what doth your arguing reprove? Do ye imagine to reprove words, and the speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind? Yea, ye overwhelm the fatherless, and ye dig a pit for your friend.
This was Job’s answer to one of his “comforters.” Job’s “comforters” went to try to straighten him out. “Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred.” This is the attitude of the child of God. A child of God wants to know when he’s wrong. “How forcible are right words!” The impact comes from the right words, not the speaker. When it is right, nothing needs to be added to it. Some people use cruse words to try to emphasize their point. We don’t need cursing or anger to add impact to our words. “But what doth your arguing reprove?” Arguing doesn’t prove a lot of things. Some people’s arguments carry no weight and change no opinions. “Yea, ye overwhelm the fatherless, and ye dig a pit for your friend.” We’re not out to overwhelm, but to help and to comfort. We want our words to be right.
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
Many people refer to this in regard to differences of doctrine. There is a right doctrine. Division and offense weren’t what Christ came to promote. Jesus came to draw people together. He put the love of God in us to help us feel toward each other as we ought. We need to get it right, but our call isn’t to go and split people up. People that cause division are looking after their own interest, and not doing a very good job of that either.
Many use “good words and fair speeches” to draw people to themselves. Self wants to exclude, to say “mine, and not yours.”
This is a warning against carnality. It works to draw people to self, and doesn’t care if it causes division. There’s a spirit that says, “Be part of our thing”; don’t be a part of it.
2 Timothy 2:14-21
Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings; for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
This applies to saints, whether minister or not. We’re not to argue. If others want to argue, let them argue with themselves. Our study needs to focus on learning to be what God would have you to be and have his approval.
“Rightly dividing” involves making a straight cut. A good workman can make a straight cut. An amateur makes a timid cut. We don’t want to go on tangents or make things too loose or too straight. Study to see the picture as God sees it. We want to get it the way God intended it to be.
“But shun profane and vain babblings…” Babbling is just running your mouth constantly. There are times when the most forceful words are the ones not said. There are some things that are beyond our comprehension right now. God knows who is his; leave that to him.
There are some words you’re better off without, if you would be a vessel to honor. Honor can be found in doing what is right.
1 Timothy 1:5-7
Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
“Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart…” We need to have the love of God in our hearts. When it is there, it will show. “Vain jangling” works to get people’s attention; it desires to teach without understanding what it is teaching. Desiring to be a blessing is one thing; desiring to teach is another thing. You need to understand what you are teaching to be an effective teacher. We want to be common people just sharing what we’ve found.
1 Timothy 6:2-5
And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings. Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness; from such withdraw thyself.
“If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness…” This man missed the mark. Great oration isn’t what we’re after. We want the words of Jesus, words that produce good things. Our goal isn’t to go and outdo someone else. Something is lacking in those conversations. When the words are right, they will work without our adding to them.
Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better. The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness. A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?
The words of a babbler will bite like a snake, but the words of a wise man are gracious. A fool is full of words. You can say too much. There is a time when you should just be quiet. Our words need to be right words that produce good and beneficial things.
A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
This points out the seriousness of our words. Our words reveal things about us. The effect of our words can be equally harmful as bad actions. What we demand of others, God will expect of us, too. When our words are right, they will be good enough. Our desire should be to help others and learn from them.