Brethren Archive

Let Your Speech Be With Grace, Seasoned With Salt

by E. H. Bennett

GOD has truly said in James iii. 8, that "the tongue is an unruly evil, which no man can tame, and it is full of deadly poison." And Christians know how this part of the old nature especially needs watchful restraint; for which the Holy Spirit is also our power. With that tongue we bless God; otherwise we bring reproach upon His Holy name. Now it is quite evident that every member of our bodies is redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, and therefore "our lips should speak forth His praises;" and we should "teach and admonish one another in Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs, singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord" (Col. iii. 16). The Spirit too has consecrated us to God; and He exhorts us in 2 Peter iii. 11. "Seeing, then, that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be, in all holy conversation and godliness." We are expressly told also "to observe the form of sound words" (2 Tim. i. 13); and in Eph. iv. 23, God's people are exhorted to "be renewed in the spirit of their minds," and in verse 29, "let no corrupt (or rather insipid) speech proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good, to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." Again in Eph. v. 4, we are told that "neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting; which are not convenient; but rather giving of thanks," is becoming to a child of God. In Col. iv. 5, we are told to "walk in wisdom toward them that are without;" redeeming the time, and to "let our speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt; that we may know how we ought to answer every man." In Song of Solomon iv. 3, 11, the Bridegroom's "speech is comely, and His lips dropped honey and milk." Oh, what an example for us; that we should, like Him, speak only the things which emanate from God. Remember "those gracious words that proceeded out of His mouth."

There is too much frivolity amongst God's children; idle words, for which an account must be given; and all that foolish talking must grieve the Holy Spirit. First it is insipid (i.e. without the salt of grace), then it becomes corrupt. Our words should be seasonable; and so pointed, that like nails, they may go home to the conscience of our hearers. If we are in real sympathy with our Master, who wept over Jerusalem. If we understood His will concerning us; we should have no heart for jesting with the enemies of God, who are hurrying to destruction, but, like Paul, we should "cease not to warn men, night and day, with tears."


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