Communication experts say that only 8 percent of our communication is verbal, 35 percent is emotional, 55 percent is body language and 2 percent intuitive. Although we have all the possible tools for effective communication, talking between us leaves much to be desired. We are increasingly witnessing cases when some people claim to be opinion leaders, either politicians or other decision makers in our country, but when they have to communicate something, their speech leaves much to be desired. We no longer know or want to listen to each other. We have made a national policy of quarrelling and we believe that this must be the way to send a message.
“He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him.” (Proverbs 18:13 NASB) says the wise Solomon. Watch for yourself and see how many people really know how to listen and then come up with a solid and logical answer. Jesus put great emphasis on communication between us, because God communicates with man and does it qualitatively. Jesus emphasizes communication that brings coolness to our bones, but not their destruction. A biblical proverb says, “The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.” (Proverbs 15:28 NASB) You look around at how statesmen arm themselves to spread evil through their speeches, without thinking about the consequences… That is why it is not surprising that later comes a society that cannot compose a decent sentence. In this context, Jesus once said to the religious leaders of the day, “You offspring of vipers, how can you, being evil, express any good things? For the mouth speaks from that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.” (Matthew 12:34-35 NASB) And the consequences of such a cunning communication are serious: “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned,” (Matthew 12:36-37 NASB) says the Savior.
Now if each of us were aware of the seriousness of the bad words we say, the slanders and lies we throw away, we would no longer use such techniques to win favors of any kind. A gentle response always quenches all anger, but harsh words ignite anger. The Bible considers wise those who teach knowledge pleasantly, but those who spread foolishness are disregarded, because only those who respond calmly, gently are like a tree of life, while those who spread corruption with their tongues crush the souls of people around them.
Let’s not think that the most powerful weapons are the fighting ones.
Paradoxically, each of us has a weapon that we have not yet learned to use for the good of people, and that is our language. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue; those who love it will eat its fruit.” All the animals in this world could be or are tamed, but the tongue, which is the smallest limb in the human body, we have not yet learned to tame. With it we pray, we say “Glory to God” and also with it, we curse a man who is created in the image and likeness of God. St. James compares the tongue to a small fire that ignites a large forest. And how many relationships in the family, in society and around the world have been destroyed, because we did not know and do not know how to communicate. What we believe is reflected in what we speak. It is also written in Proverbs, “The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” (Proverbs 13:3 NASB)
In conclusion, I want to make sure that our way of speaking will influence others. The apostle Paul wrote to his disciple Timothy: “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in SPEECH, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” (1 Timothy 4:12 NASB)
Dear reader, are you an example in speech?
Let’s go to James 3:1-12.
The apostle James tells Christians who in those days were going through great trials, persecution, that if a brother or sister knows how to master his speech, he is a perfect man. I mean, a man who knows what words to say and when to say them.
It is interesting that almost all the animals of this earth have been tamed by man, but behold, man cannot tame his own tongue. I did not choose this subject by chance, to preach it. I hear more and more jokes among us Christians that have no place, I hear words thrown in anger that even among the heathens are not heard, serving in many countries of the world, I have seen different extremes. Some do not communicate at all, which is also a type of communication, and others make their emotions their basic communication and message.
The tongue – a small limb boasts of great things, a small fire that ignites such a great forest, a world of iniquity that defiles the whole body and ignites the wheel of life.
It is compared to the fire of hell, an evil that cannot be restrained and is full of a deadly poison. With it we bless God on Sunday at church, we sing, we pray, we speak the peace of the Lord, but also with it we curse people who are made in the image and likeness of God. Blessing and curse cannot come out of the same mouth.
“But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, free of hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:14-18 NASB)
What did Jesus say?
I don’t know if you will like it, but they are the words of the Lord Jesus, and I will say them as they are. I will never sweeten the message for someone’s sake. The Bible is given to us for our correction. This is how the Savior called those who, although they called themselves religious, spoke untruths:
“You offspring of vipers, how can you, being evil, express any good things? For the mouth speaks from that which fills the heart. The good person brings out of his good treasure good things; and the evil person brings out of his evil treasure evil things.” (Matthew 12:34-35 NASB)
“But I tell you that for every careless word that people speak, they will give an account of it on the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37)
And then James in 1:26 says that if someone thinks he is religious but does not restrain his tongue, he is deceived, deceiving himself, and that religion, or in fact, everything you do here today is NOTHING.
Let’s go through a few verses to see how our speech should be:
“The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.” (NASB)
“A person’s discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” (NASB)
“A foolish son is destruction to his father, and the quarrels of a wife are a constant dripping.” (NASB)
Translated by Olya Trikolich