Feb 9, 2010

Ways of Destructive Speech

"What is desired in a man is kindness, and a poor man is better than a liar." ~Proverbs 19:22

We often hear the phrase, "If you have nothing good to say, don't speak at all." We've talked about this before, but I want to look at it in a different way. As Christians, we are commanded to do more than "not speak". We are to love our enemies. We should be more anxious to say good things than bad; encouraging words rather than destructive utterances. When we are called names behind our backs, ridiculed and mocked, we should not return their speech with equally bad language of our own. Instead we should seek to show kindness to them. We should not lie and say things we don't believe. We should either speak words that build up, or not speak at all.

Perhaps the hardest place to put this into effect is in our own homes. Because that is true, however, it makes our homes the best, as well as the most worthwhile, place to practice. But destructive language comes in many forms. The first is the simple, "He did ___", with "___" being something destructive. The second is in the form, "I could do it better." The third is, "Well he's good at that, but I'm good at ____" The last two are different from the first in one way: they put the speaker a level above the other person. But this type of comment will only make the other person resentful. Let it be known that you never speak an offensive word, but rather challenge and "sharpen" others with your words. As the verse says, "What is desired in a man is kindness." If you can not only show forgiveness, but also show kindness to your enemies, how great will be your reward! If we are to show this loving-kindness to strangers, even enemies, how much easier it should be for us to show that same love to our friends and more importantly our family! The Lord continues to test me in this area, yet oh! how miserably I fail! How many times have I spoken before I have thought! May you not have the same struggle! Go forth with love on your lips and good will in your heart!

Your Brother In Christ

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