A Graceful TongueBro. Ron Rupé
5/14/2006 6:00 PM
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
This thought is centered around our testimony and using our words to witness for the Lord. An effectual testimony must be seasoned with grace. The words we say must be seasoned with grace. Whenever we speak for the Lord, it needs to be with grace. There is a kind of grace that can help us know how to answer.
Kinds of grace:
Longsuffering for trials
Gentleness for works
Temperance for temptation
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Don’t speak the truth by sleight, by cunning craftiness, or by deceit. None of these are grace. Speak the truth in love. The grace that should season our words is love. Love will help us know how to answer every man. When our words are guided by love, we don’t have to whip out a list to be sure that we’re saying the right thing. Love will guide us to speak naturally. When we love someone, we don’t have to coach ourselves to say the right thing. Our care and concern for the soul should be what prompts us to speak; if it isn’t, we’ll probably say the wrong thing. You will end up saying things in the wrong way. When the love of God is guiding, the manner and words will come naturally, and the care and concern will be evident. Your words will be seasoned with the grace of love. Check your motivation before you speak to souls. Do you care about THIS soul? It has to go deeper than just a duty. Be moved with compassion.
Is the zeal that you feel a zeal to help the one you’re speaking to? There are different kinds of zeal. Zeal for truth and right will help us in our walk, but not in helping others. Have a strong desire to help that soul.
Is the fire I feel the fire of love, or is it the wrath of man?
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
Righteous indignation is stirred toward injustice. You can see and feel that it is not right. However, this fire isn’t what we want to act on. You shouldn’t act on every stirring of your heart. Stop and be sure it is love stirring you up before you act.
Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
“Let your speech be ALWAY with grace…” This applies to every situation. This love should guide our tongues in every topic of conversation, and in every place. Be consistent. Be graceful with every one all the time. Let love be your guide in everything you say and do.
1 Peter 2:19-23
For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God, endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if when ye be buffeted for your faults ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
This is a true test of whether you have this grace that will season your speech and control your tongue. Most of us can handle doing well and being appreciated with grace. The true test is when you do well and suffer for it; how do you take it? What controls your tongue when you’re misunderstood or misrepresented? What kind of grace do you show when you’re despised or reviled? Have grace always, but especially when these things happen. Grace is manifested through our words and through our silence.
Luke 23:8-11; Isaiah 53:7
And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him: and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
When witnessing for God, love will help us to speak choice words. When suffering, this same love will help us to hold back choice words. Sometimes… most times, the best way to help a challenging situation is to say nothing. Jesus committed himself to him that judgeth righteously. God knows whether there is an offense or not. Commit yourself to God and let him handle the situation.
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
“…in her tongue is the law of kindness…” James tells us that without the grace of God man cannot tame his tongue. The tongue can be controlled by the “law of kindness.” If you have a kind heart and a kind eye, you will naturally have a gentle and forgiving tongue. Love will guide your interactions. It will help you to say and do good and kind things. If you have a fault-finding heart and a critical eye, you will constantly be saying hurtful things. You can learn to hate someone or you can learn to be kind. Are you looking for faults or good traits? Whatever you focus on will determine your attitude. Are you looking for faults, or are you looking for virtues? Searching for faults will magnify them until they are all you see. This is true for virtues, too. We would rather focus on the virtues. If all you see is the negative in others, focus on your own attitudes and see what is motivating them. God can put this love in your heart. Love covers a multitude of transgressions. It covers a multitude of faults as well, because we can look on others with a merciful and forgiving eye.