Of all the things I write, this is probably the one I, Nathan Howe, will regret the most..I can hear it already, “Which hornets nest is this guy going to kick this time?” Well, I’m going to kick all our hornets nests, including my own. I’ll regret this because it’s something even I struggle with, so today’s topic, will be: Gentle Speech.
“Put away from you a deceitful mouth and put devious speech far from you.” [Proverbs 4:24]
That’s correct my friend, unless the Holy Spirit doesn’t convict you of your tongue (which means he isn’t convicting you at all), we all from time to time spew words towards a person who was or wasn’t deserving of that behavior. Here’s the sucky thing, whether they deserve it or not, you’re a believer in Christ, so regardless if a fool asks for a beating or not, you are not the one authorized to, “layeth down thine smackage.” ‘But you, as a man of God, flee from these things; and pursue righteousness, godliness, faithfulness, love, steadfastness, gentleness.’ (1 Timothy 6:11)
“Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.”
When your mother was angry with you, to help defuse the situation, did you see it necessary to return to her the same fury she bestowed upon you? Of course not! If you knew you were walking the line, or if you’d already crossed it, you knew that gentle answers in response to the barrage of “What were you thinking!?”(’s), was probably going to be the only way you were going to avoid the switch. This is because, as it is written, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger// A soothing tongue is a tree of life, But perversion in it crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:1- 15:4)
Back when I was a youth, we couldn’t just run our mouths on the internet and then disappear with a block. No sir, when I was a wee lad, your fists better be bigger than your mouth, because if not, your butt is going to need a huge checkbook for the withdrawals and overdraft fees. It’s not just “todays kids,” even the older generation has gotten use to talking to another person through a machine. It’s not about how you grew up, its about how you live. You can grow up in a time where you’d get whooped for the things you said and still have your interaction skills be reconditioned by technology.
The psychology is simple, whatever you have to say over the internet, you’re not seeing a human being. We don’t capture emotion on the internet very well unless its wrath. I find my self even trying to find that perfect blend of graceful speech while also trying to convey the point.We’re living in a world that glorifies evil, and as Christians, it’s hard not to let it get the best of us. Sin thrives in this world and its inhabitants bask in its momentary pleasures. Let us try our best not to be hasty when replying, that persons comment/ message will still be there in 15 minutes while you think about the appropriate answer. Never does the Bible tell us to just yack at the mouth, willy-nilly. Psalm 19:14 says, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.” The words of your mouth and the meditation of your heart are directly related. If you meditate on frustration, if you meditate on yourself, the fruit your tongue will produce will be hasty, vile language, which doesn’t do a thing for the edification of others.
“The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” [Proverbs 18:21]