“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” — 1 Peter 2:22
At the time of His greatest stress and trial — the cross — Jesus’ speech was perfect. He always spoke the right words, at the right time, in the right way. When it was right to remain silent, He was silent. When He needed to speak up, He spoke up.
Perhaps the phrase “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) best captures how Jesus spoke and what we should do. Ephesians 4 goes on to give some practical guidelines about the words coming out of our mouths: be honest (v. 25); stay current (vv. 26-28); attack problems, not people (v. 29); and act, don’t react (vv. 30-32).
In “Be Mature,” a commentary on the Book of James, author Warren Wiersbe summarizes the power of the tongue as described in James 3:1-12. He says our words have the power to direct as illustrated by a bit in the mouth of a horse or the rudder on a ship (vv. 1-4). Are we influencing others with Godly advice and wisdom? Like a fire or poison (vv. 5-8), what we say can destroy people and things around us.
The negative impact of gossip, slander, falsehoods, etc., is not easily repaired. But on the positive side, what proceeds out of our mouths can also be a delight, like a fresh spring of water or a fig tree (vv. 9-12), providing encouragement to others and praise to God.
— Jeff Totten, Detroit Tigers chaplain
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