Sunday, October 8, 2017

Biblical Pattern of Speech

UV 2795/10000 Pattern of Speech: World or Word
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Ephesians 4 v 29
Next to the thought process, one of the most vital patterns of life is our pattern of speech. The pattern of the world is that the mouth of the wicked and the ungodly are like an open sepulchre or a grave that spews the power of sin and death with every word. There is the poison of the asp under the tongue. Their words may be smooth as butter but hide sharpened knives behind it. It is used for deceit and flattery. It speaks lies and out of lust and covetousness. It spurs violence and strife. It speaks what the heart and mind is full of : evil. But the biblical template of speech is set forth in this uni-verse as well as a large number of portions of scripture ranging from the book of Proverbs to the espistle of St James. We are to conform our speech to this template.
We are not to allow any corrupt communication to leave our mouths. In order to do this, we need to be slow to speak and quick to listen. We should not give vent to filthy language, rage, vulgar jokes, insults and taunts. What we speak should always be full of grace and salted with truth. Truth will make our words tasty and wholesome to the listener. Our speech or our words should always be beneficial to the listeners. It should build up their faith, their confidence, their hope, their love. It is full of the grace of Christ. Our words are anointed as life-giving bullets that penetrate the hearts, minds and spirits of people, quickening their inner life or their souls. Our tongues are the spring of God’s love and should not be mixed with poison of lust, untruth and evil. Our positive confessions of faith please and glorify God and build the faith of the hearers. Our tongues are one of the chief instruments of ministry to humanity. It is consecrated and dedicated to the Lord and ought to be brought under the control of the Holy Spirit. The tree of life that the Lord God removed from the garden of Eden is planted in the mouths of the believers. It is the tree of wisdom that enables us to speak of the righteousness of God all day, to offer praises and glory to Him and to “order our conversation aright.” Ordering our conversation aright implies doing everything we can to conform our words to the pattern of the template of the Word, not influenced, corrupted or distorted by the world. From this tree of life comes virtually all the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, patience, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control. Our words are the fruit of our lips full of these attributes of Jesus. Out of the mouth of the believer comes forth the power of eternal life and not death. We are to use our tongues to lead many into the kingdom of God, to teach and disciples others in the patterns of the Word. Our words are to be used to bless not curse, to encourage, not humiliate or insult others, to appreciate, to comfort, to strengthen not weaken, to be thankful not to grumble, to guide not to deceive. Even many of the gifts of the Spirit of God flows through our tongues and mouths- the gift of healing, prophecy, tongues, word of knowledge and wisdom. We are also to speak the apt word at the apt time. If we are not able to speak so, we should rather learn to be silent. Learning not to speak is itself a grace of the Lord. The Word also teaches us that when words abound, sin too abounds, implying that we should not speak a word more than what is necessary in a specific situation. It requires us to be measured in our speech.
Prateep V Philip

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