Let Every Man Be Slow to Speak

FEB 05 James 1:19 Someone has made the observation that our ears are out in the open, exposed and unguarded while our tongues are concealed behind ivory bars. James wrote,  "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath." To be slow to speak is to speak in a careful manner, allowing our words to be the result of diligent thought, rather than haste. In the book of Proverbs we read, "He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life" (Proverbs 13:3). Our speech can be utilized in a negative manner. We can use our words to incite anger. "A soft answer turneth way wrath, but grievous words stir up anger" (Proverbs 15:1). Our speech can be used in a filthy manner. "Put filthy communication out of your mouth" (Colossians 3:8). A filthy mouth is the result of a filthy heart (Matthew 12:34). Our speech can consist of words with no purpose. We will one day give account of every idle word we have said (Matthew 12:36-37). Our speech can cause us to violate another personís trust in us. "A    talebearer reveals secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter (Proverbs 11:13). Our speech can be used to participate in gossip. We ought not be talebearers or busybodies (I Timothy 5:13). Just as our speech can be used in a negative manner, it can also be used in a positive manner. Our speech can be used to speak the truth. Someone has said, "If you always tell the truth, you never have to remember what you said." How true that is! Our speech can be used to speak of our faith. ďWith the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Rom 10:9-10). Our speech can be used to honor God. With the fruit of our lips we offer praise to God and honor his name (Hebrews 13:15). Our speech can be used to encourage others. We are to let that which comes out of our mouths be that which is good to the use of edifying (Ephesians 4:29). Our speech can be used to spread Godís word (Psalm 119:172). What are you using your mouth and your speech for? Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak.