Part One: 1 Timothy 4:12 – Speech
Monday, February 04, 2008
Part One: 1 Timothy 4:12 – Speech
1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”
“Give me a deeper trust, that I may lose myself to find myself in Thee, the ground of my rest, the spring of my being. Give me a deeper knowledge of Thyself as saviour, master, lord, and king. Give me deeper power in private prayer, more sweetness in Thy Word, more steadfast grip on its truth. Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action, and let me not seek moral virtue apart from Thee.” From The Valley of Vision; The Deeps.
James 3:3-12 says, “If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.”
We can see from these verses and many others, that our speech is very powerful, and very likely to get out of control very fast. We are all sinners, and since we all have sin in our hearts, and our mouths reflect what is deep inside, the inevitable is bound to happen: we say something unkind, gossipy, judgmental, rude, or just plain foolish. As Andrew Farmer said, we are bound to hurt people by what we say without even knowing it. We are walking balls of fire. Our tongues are more deadly than a King Cobra. We must realize all of the damage that we can do with our tongues that can never be undone, before we can be fully aware of our need for grace. There is no way we could ever go about putting out all of the fires we are bound to start with our mouths on our own. There is no way we can put a bridle on that wriggling, restless, unstoppable thing we call “The Tongue”. We would be lost; trapped in a burning forest of our own making, trampled by that unruly beast of a tongue…but God.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Matthew 5:6
With so much evil that can come of our spoken words, one could get frightened and want to hide from conversations since you never know when you may say something you wish you hadn’t. However, there is SO much good that your words can do in this world when God becomes the master and the Holy Spirit becomes the bridle. An encouraging word spoken in season can strengthen a person to do all that God has called them to do, it may dissolve doubts, confirm convictions, and cause a greater love and passion for God to grow in them. A word of correction spoken in love can save a person’s foot from swerving from the Path and guard their souls from Hell. A kind word spoken when a harsh one would have been easier to say can cause heads to turn in wonder and cause curiosity to grown in them as to what secret you have that allows you to speak with gentleness. In these ways, and many others, you can be an example for others in your speech.