zion assembly Church of god
How We Speak
Does what you say matter? Does how you say something matter? Does our communication matter? Of course it does. Unfortunately, many Christians speak as the world speaks. Can a Christian swear? How about curse? How about casting insults or degrading others? Let's dig in to these very questions.
To be a Christian means to be "Christ-like." If we are to be "Christ-like," then we must pattern ourselves after Jesus. This means that we pattern ourselves after how Jesus walked and how he talked. Our actions and our words matter.
James 3:1-12 (KJV) addresses these concerns:
"My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 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."
As James indicates, can a fountain send forth sweet water and bitter? Or, in other words, can a spring produce salt water and fresh water. The answer is obviously, "No." Bitter water will corrupt sweet water. Salt water will corrupt fresh water. We are the same. Ungodly communication corrupts Godly behavior. We can't be both ungodly and godly at the same time. It's one or the other.
So what kind of communication is ungodly (bitter water or salt water)?
The issues mentioned above, if present, indicate a real problem in the heart of the a believer. We can't be a follower of Christ if we are swearing and cursing. We can't be a child of the King if we are gossiping and slandering others. We can't be a Christian if we are lying. And we can't represent the Lord of Lords if we are a "Negative Nancy." We have the greatest gift, eternal life, from the greatest to ever walk the Earth, and He just happened to create the heavens and the Earth, and our communication should reflect Him.