Integrity {Speech}

Today is the second installment of my notes on the ladies' retreat I attended a few weeks ago. If you would like the notes from the first session, you can find them here. Integrity in Speech

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as it fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29

It should be noted that this verse begins with a command, not a suggestion. Our speech must be beneficial to others, but this won't happen accidentally. So we have to think first. Here is an example for the home:

Ask yourself, Will I build up my {husband, child, friend} by saying this?

How can we obey such a strict command? We must first realize two truths.

 We can't control our own tongue.

but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. James 3:8-10

We must take ownership of our own words.

Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgement people will give account for every careless word they speak. Matthew 12:33-36

Words reveal the condition of our hearts. We need heart help! Here are 10 tongue-tamers that start with the heart:

{1} Dedicate our hearts and tongues to God DAILY

{2} Put your heart in tune with God's spirit by DAILY reading his word.

{3} Assume responsibility for EVERY word we speak.

For Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. 1 Peter 3:10

{4} Discover from those around us what offensive words we use.

A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool. Proverbs 17:10

{5} Commit ourselves to giving a good report - Check gossiping.

For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases. Proverbs 26:20

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouth, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29

{6} Fulfill past promises and carefully consider new promises. - A broken promise can be especially devastating to our children.

Matthew 5:33-37

{7} Ask forgiveness for any unloving words and ATTITUDES

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24

{8} Learn how to give words that encourage, comfort, inspire, and edify. - Offer negative thoughts to God.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24

{9} Distinguish between discernment and judgment.

Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against his brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. James 4:11

 Judgement wants to talk to others about someone's behavior, it makes us feel better than that person. Something may be true, but it must also be edifying and helpful to be spoken.

{10} Distinguish between reproving and reviling.

he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, and evil suspicions... 1 Timothy 6:4 

Reproof is to come alongside and help. Reviling is to act superior, to come down on, to attack; it could even be abusive. Think of your own words and actions behind closed doors in regards to your children and your husband.

Remember - the tongue-tamers won't work unless we ask God to change our hearts!

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

Thanks for joining me in recapping my notes on integrity. I definitely need help with this one! I hope you are blessed, encouraged, and challenged by the piercing word of God.

Elizabeth Ann