03 Feb My (S)Word
It was a winter evening on 19th June 2013 and as I was standing in the lone Darjeeling Resort for a Conference, a cat was starring at me and I could not make out whether it was angry or happy to see me and yes I could not interpret its feelings. As I love pets I said let me say some lovable words to the cat and started Saying” Pussy…, Pussy…. with a beautiful loving sweet voice. The cat looked at me with expectation and started coming near me. A greyish cat at night coming near me with eyes wide open caused a chill to go down my spine as it started coming towards me. I was confused as to what the cat was up to (will it bite or attack me with its nails, I was afraid) as I started lowering my tone of pussy, pussy, sweety cat, sweety cat baby…. making it as sweet to give the cat a feeling that I am calling it out of love. To my utter surprise, the cat came with its tail wagged up like a fl ag and rubbed my trousers. My gentle words built a rapport between me and the cat. I started thinking if my few words could woo the animal how much more my words can impact the soul of a person if I spoke a kind word and use my talents to share the Gospel to my acquaintances.
David sya rightly, Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you: Oh God My Redeemer, Ps. 19:14. Is my words acceptable at all times. Am I pleasing to God always?
There is impact of the words we speak and hence we need to be very careful of what we speak, when we speak, why we speak and how we speak. Martin Luther King Jr’s Great speech, I Have A Dream is still referred to as a great piece which impacted the world. I would like to share two aspects of what we speak
(1) What do we speak matters?
(2) We should think before we speak?
What we speak matters and hence there are some guidelines for the words to be spoken by believers
(1) Firstly, words should be intelligent to be able to give others teachings, insights, which edify the other person, (1 Cor. 14:6-9).
(2) Secondly, there has to be distinction between an ‘Yes’ and a ‘No’ as to between black and white because for everything I say I will be held accountable.
(3) Thirdly, never use idle words. Jesus said in Matt. 12:34 Out of the overfl ow of the heart, the mouth speaks and v. 36 states that for every idle word we will be accounted for in judgment.
Today people use slangs loosely and think they are contemporary of the e-age. Let me remind myself and others that for everything we joke talk and laugh, God sees us (Ps. 14:2) and will bring to judgment (Eccl 12: 14) states that for everything we do whether in secret or openly we need to give account on Judgment Day. James rightly points out in his book (3:3- 12) that the tongue so small can cause so much damage if used carelessly. Imagine a situation what damage the tongue can do with that small size, but if the tongue was longer than it was as it is for all of us, it would have lashed out and caused more damage than ever. James goes on to share about fi g trees and Olive Trees which bear fruit. The words are like fruits to others. Yes, deadly poison
can come out of our mouths and can do damage to people’s heart, health, and spirit and also the reverse is true.
Rom. 12: 6-8 states that people are given gift of encouragement to encourage others and hence we need to use our lips to encourage others for the right thing. Eph. 5:18-20 states that we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit to be able to control our words and say what is right. St Paul writes in Col. 3:16 that the words of the mouth should be rich in wisdom. We need to be slow to speak and quick to listen and hence I suppose God has given us two ears to be quick in listening and one mouth to be slow to speak. The results of good words are healing (Pro. 12:18), Knowledge (Pro. 15:2,7) Words can add value (Pro. 25:11).
We need to use our words to pierce the souls who have not heard the Gospel of Christ. Piercing does not mean harming but about penetrating to the inner most soul to create the impact in such a way that Lord Jesus Christ is glorified. The Word of God is two edged sword (Heb 4:12) because it can penetrate our hearts and touch our inner most being. In fact, it is God who enables us to speak boldly (Acts 4:31) about the Gospel (1 Cor. 12:28-30).
Yes God’s Word is pure (Pro. 30:5) and we need to allow ourselves to get stirred by the Holy Spirit to share God’s Word (2 Pet 1:20-21) The second aspect is, we need to think before we speak. One of the 10 commandments, (Exo.20:16) is that you shall not bear false witness against your neighbour. It speaks about not speaking ill of others. Paul writes (Eph. 4: 29), Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth but what is good for necessary edifi cation, that it may impart grace to the hearers. Does speaking ill about others impart grace to others, Yes it does not, hence let us not speak ill about others.
Ephesians 4: 25 states that Let us all speak the truth with their neighbours, verse 15 states to speak in love unto Jesus Christ. We should not speak harsh words, blaming words or angry words at all and need to respond after thinking as said in James 3:2-6.
We need to have kept our tongues from evil and our lips from speaking deceit Ps 34:13.
In summarizing, I would like to share four filters when we speak and they are
1. What I am about to say “Is it True?” (Pro.12:17,19)
2. Is it soft, lovable, kind / understanding? (Pro. 16:24-33)
3. Is it necessary to speak or Is it better to keep quiet? (Ps 62:5)
4. Is it benefi cial? (Eph. 4:29)
The above questions need to be asked when we speak and we need to use every word which proceeds from our us judiciously like a sword to communicate the goodness of our Lord Jesus Christ and His richness and glory among people and touching their lives.
About the Author
Dr Samip Baruah is the Head of Supply Chain & Logistics for Education Stationery Product Business of ITC. He is also the chairman of UESI C&N Dept.