Will Your Words Convict You?
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
- Summary of The Book of Proverbs - The Story of the Bible: The Old Testament (Bible History Online)
The Story of the Bible - Part One - The Old Testament. Summary of The Book of Proverbs
Satan cannot directly take a life.
That is one of many things he cannot do. But apparently his effort to stop the work [the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ] will be reasonably well served if he can just bind the tongue of the faithful.1
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reiterated instruction given by President Packer about the importance of the tongue or communication of the saints of God. There are many ways to bind the speech of Christians.
When others hear their voices, do Christians actually sound like Christians?
What Elder Holland spoke of is of great concern because the Adversary has spread a vicious lie among the brethren in the church, and all churches, that men must use crude language and harsh words to be considered a man, manly and so forth.
All Satan has to do is support the idea that crude conversation is the mark of a man and he has helped put the willing participants on a path that leads to destruction.
Men converse with each other many times in tough and hard tones. Instead of a greeting of hello for some, "How the hell are you" is said.
Women also call each other b*tches as a sign of some sisterhood or as an attempt to expressed their tenaciousness in regard to some actions or situation.
Some African Americans call each other n*gger as a sign of camaraderie and fraternity/sorority. Other American minorities have followed suit by using terms that depict unfavorable or negative aspects of their culture or physical appearances based on stereotypes.
After generations of profane speech these people see no reason their speech is wrong. Some Christians are so caught-up in this lie that these words of attrition are words of endearment!
In Western culture a man cannot tell another man that he loves him without the supposition that he is homosexual, which is a whole other stereotype discussion of its own!
Western culture flies in direct violation of the commandment that Jesus gave for Christians to love one another. I am confident that Jesus meant for His followers to show that love and express that love.
In the scriptures, it is written of the wisdom attributed to King Solomon he counseled that
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.2
It seems as though satan is trying to usurp the very tool that God gave to men to use as a sword in the battle of life, the tongue!
The Tongue Weapon
It is of great interest that implements of destruction are used by prophets and God alike to describe the tongue, which is such a tiny muscle. The tongue is a small muscle used for tasting, licking swallow and speech.
It is not a striking organ to see. It may be able to taste and swallow other human beings if given the opportunity. But for the most part, it is used as a tool of communication between humans.
In the Bible, the book of James, James gives several examples of how small things rule great objects. He refers to ships and their rudders and horse bits in the mouths of horses.
These things, objects, control larger things that are, if put in opposition, are more powerful. How can a tongue be a sword or a fire as James records? How can a tongue be sharper that a double edged sword as Jesus Christ is recorded to have said?
Behold, I am God; give heed unto my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow; therefore give heed unto my words.3
It would be almost universally agreed upon by all believers in God that He can do anything speaking a word. Mortal men are created in the image of God, which also means that they can speak words that are powerful enough to divide asunder joints and marrow.
A commander of an army can instruct his troops to attack and kill the opposing army. This is a similar power given to humanity by God, to use speech as a means to execute actions. A person can command others to act based on his or her judgement.
However, in everyday speech, a person does not command people to die. It is much more likely that the weapon of the tongue is used to denigrate or divide asunder another person or people emotionally.
Words that lift up the soul or bring it down are spoken each minute. By those words, could the speaker's conviction be good or bad? Would a judge and jury agree that by his or her words a man or a woman is good or bad?
What Say You?
If your speech was recorded and reviewed daily, would there be enough evidence to convict you of a Good person?
James pleads with all who would hear or read his words to use wisdom and discretion while speaking. Said he,
Who is a wise man and [endowed] with knowledge among you[?] let him [show] out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom....4
What will the words people speak convict them of being? Will the words spoken be evidence of wisdom and knowledge in good or worthwhile conversations? James included meekness of wisdom as an attribute of wise people who speak with knowledge suggesting someone that does not express him or herself towards others with condescension.
Jame goes on to counsel,
But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.5
When the times comes where uncharitable thoughts enter the mind James suggests not to glory or indulge in them and lie against the truth or justify the saying of evil words. Oftentimes, when people are angry they try to justify the things said in anger because of the actions of others.
James, one of the original apostles of Jesus Christ instructs that "[o]ut of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be."6
© 2015 Rodric Johnson