Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Perfecting the Pattern of Speech

UV 2213/10000 Perfecting The Pattern of Speech
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Colossians 4 v 6

The pattern of our speech affects the pattern of our emotions, our thoughts, the happenings in our lives, our relationships, our work patterns, our effectiveness and our influence as manger leaders and managers. This uni-verse exhorts us to always speak with grace, implying that we should like Jesus give to people more than they deserve, not what they deserve. If we are having a grudge against someone, we should speak to that person with forgiveness, not recalling his act or word that hurt us. If we encounter someone who discouraged us, we should speak to him encouragingly. If someone insulted us, we should try to compliment him. We need to elevate our conversation and communication a level above what it merits. The mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Hence, we need to fill our hearts with love, mercy, patience, peace, kindness, faithfulness, humility, justice, truth. There are two ways to do this: one, by filling our hearts with the word of Christ. Two, by inviting the Holy Spirit to fill us with love and to take control of that otherwise unruly organ- the human tongue. The tongue acts as a rudder to give us balance and direction in our lives.

When we fill our hearts with the Word, it will season our conversation and communication with the salt of truth that will add flavour or taste to whatever we speak. Salt is a chemical compound consisting of two negatives that are virtual poisons- sodium and chlorine. This implies that we should negative every negative thought and word in our minds before we speak it from our mouths. If a word is negative, we should eliminate it from our conversation. By the words we speak we call things to ourselves. If we speak positive words, it will call forth the positive- good health, strength, prosperity, joy, peace, love and so on. If we speak negative words, it will call forth the negative- illness, weaknesses, poverty, sadness, strife, envy, pride, curses, afflictions. The Word clearly states that no man can conquer, rule or govern his own tongue on his own. We need the grace of God to speak always with grace. If the source of a river is contaminated, how will the water be good downstream? The Lord needs to deal with the source of our words, our hearts and minds. James calls the human tongue a “restless evil”. It becomes a restless good when we surrender its use completely to the Lord and pass every word we speak through the filters of the Word and good sense. We need to give priority to listening, listening to the still voice of the Holy Spirit, listening to others. Before speaking, we need to exercise both our hearts and our minds. Our heart should ask the filter question: is our words going to be wholesome, healthy, encouraging, loving, hope-inducing, faith-enhancing? Our minds should ask the filter question: is our words going to be useful, reasonable, courteous, proper, timely, profitable, necessary?

What we sow with words, we reap in action. We can sow death or eternal life, hope or frustration, power or helplessness. We sow in the spirit with our words and we will reap that in the natural. The emphasis on the word “always” in the uni-verse implies that we should be consistent whether we are angry, stressed, impatient, when things are going good for us as well as when things are not going good for us. When we pattern our speech on the model indicated in the uni-verse, the Lord will teach us what we need to speak in each situation we face. We will be able to refute every tongue that is raised against us. We will be able to give satisfactory answers to every reasonable question we are asked. Perfecting the speech pattern will make the manger leader or manager persuasive and effective communicators and influencers in this world.

Prateep V Philip

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