The apostle Paul said, “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” (Col.4:6). A great many people, it seems, have not learned this lesson. The tongue, although it is a little member, causes so many problems. There are those who “speak their minds” and boast about it, but those who are so anxious to speak their minds usually do not have very much worthwhile to say. How much better to think seriously and choose carefully the words that we say. Words spoken hastily can never be recalled, and all the saying “I’m sorry” cannot remove the hurt from another’s heart.
Another area of “speech defect” is gossip. Whenever we feel like passing on a bit of gossip, we need to remember the Lord’s admonition, “As ye would that others should do unto you, do ye even so to them” (Matt. ). And remember, anything told with the intent of causing harm to another is gossip, and remember also that Paul says that whatsoever we sow that shall we also reap. Since this is true, we had better be careful what we sow.
Still another area of “speech defect” is bad language, either cursing or vulgarity, and this is a real problem today. As parents, we need to train our children diligently in this respect, because improper language is so very common today. Our children are going to hear it; even children today use the most foul, vulgar language without any regard to who hears it. There was a time when people would have been arrested for using the kind of language that you are apt to hear at almost any time, and girls are about as bad about this as boys. Since this kind of language is so prevalent, it is necessary that we teach our children not to repeat everything that they hear.
Much is said in God’s word about our language. James condemns bad language. He said, “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? Either a vine, figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.” (James 3:10-12).
And there is one other area, the taking of the Lord’s name in vain. We must be careful, not only must we refrain from cursing, we must be sure that whenever we use the Lord’s name it is in reverence. We should never use the Lord’s name in any loose, frivolous manner. Let us always act like Christians and talk like Christians!