How we talk says a lot about who we are. Listening to a persons words can inform us of their nationality, ethnicity, or where they grew up. Looks can be deceiving, but our verbal articulation is almost impossible to change. By appearance, Miles Brown looks like your average Rock County native, but when he begins talking, you immediately can tell that he’s not from around here. His speech gives him away.
There are roughly 6,500 spoken languages in the world today and even more dialects. Even in the same language, there are variances of terminology, lingo, and slang that give clues to our background or heritage. When I am far from home, I am always surprised when people ask if I’m from Minnesota. I was not aware of a Minnesotan accent, but apparently there is one.
The way one speaks also gives us a good idea of the mood they are in or their attitude. Our chitchat can be confident, timid, sweet, sarcastic, or downright snarky. Our words express our feelings and beliefs.
As Christians, the world around us should also be able to recognize us by our words. Sadly, that isn’t always the case. As I searched the concordance of my Bible to find some good scriptural support for the things I planned on saying to you in this article, the Holy Spirit had a few things to say to me too. I can testify that the Word of God is sharper than any two edged sword. Here are a few of the words that the Holy Spirit pierced me with. Maybe you need to hear them as well.
- Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
- Matthew 12:36-37 “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
- Luke 6:45 “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
- Proverbs 13:3 “Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.”
- James 1:26 “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.”
- James 3:6-10 “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell… It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”
- Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder, and your hand over my mouth! Forgive me for the careless and hurtful things I have said. Cleanse my tongue, so that those who hear my words would recognize You.