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Thursday, September 22, 2005

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT THURSDAY - HOW TO SPEAK GRACIOUSLY. The Conclusion.

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. – Source unknown.

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. - Col 4:6.

On a windswept hill in an English country churchyard stands a drab, gray slate tombstone. The quaint stone bears an epitaph not easily seen unless you stoop over and look closely. The faint etchings read: Beneath this stone, a lump of clay, / lies Arabella Young, / Who on the twenty-fourth of May, / began to hold her tongue. -Source Unknown.

Yesterday in Part 2, we studied the ‘FOUR TESTS OF GRACIOUS SPEECH.’ Keeping in mind that, every time we speak, we need to do so in the name of the Lord Jesus. In the conclusion of our study, we share some...

SUGGESTIONS FOR GRACIOUS SPEAKING

Determine To Control Our Tongue
One of the problems of the modern day Christian, is that they have access to so much information, that they want to share it. Whether the information is correct or not, seems to be irrelevant. This is the price we pay for living in the information age! But as Christians we need to think twice before we speak.

James knew the answer to taming the tongue... If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. - Jam 1:26. Religious conviction is designed to bring the whole person under control, and to subdue every member of the body and mind to its demands. If the tongue is not bridled, or if there is any uncontrolled tendency to sin whatever, it proves that there is no true religion.

A man working in the produce department was asked by a lady if she could buy half a head of lettuce. He replied, "Half a head? Are you serious? God grows these in whole heads and that's how we sell them!"
"You mean," she persisted, "that after all the years I've shopped here, you won't sell me half-a-head of lettuce?"
"Look," he said, "If you like I'll ask the manager."

She indicated that would be appreciated, so the young man marched to the front of the store. "You won't believe this, but there's a lame-braided idiot of a lady back there who wants to know if she can buy half-a-head of lettuce." He noticed the manager gesturing, and turned around to see the lady standing behind him, obviously having followed him to the front of the store. "And this nice lady was wondering if she could buy the other half" he concluded.

Later in the day the manager cornered the young man and said, "That was the finest example of thinking on your feet I've ever seen! Where did you learn that?"

"I grew up in Grand Rapids, and if you know anything about Grand Rapids, you know that it's known for its great hockey teams and its ugly women."
The manager's face flushed, and he interrupted, "My wife is from Grand Rapids!"
"And which hockey team did she play for?" - Source Unknown.

Say Only Good Things About Others
In today’s world, it seems to be the fashion to knock someone, or to bring them down a peg or two. The Apostle Paul had good advice when he wrote to Titus...
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. - Tit 3:1-2. We must not fall into the trap of the world, where anything is said, to anybody!

Remember Our Accountability
As Spirit filled followers of Jesus, we need to put into practise, the teachings of our Master...
I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." - Mat 12:36-37. Take on board what Jesus says, and speak well of people, especially in the family of God.

Ask The Lord To Help Us!
When we feel that we are in difficulty, when we have to speak to someone, we need to ask the lord for wisdom in what to say...
- Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! - Psa 141:3.

Our words, what we say tell so much about us! We need to have a ‘verbal advantage,’ every time we speak, people judge us by the words we use, we need to put this advice into operation... Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. - Col 4:6.

Aesop, the ancient storyteller, told this fable: Once upon a time, a donkey found a lion's skin. He tried it on, strutted around, and frightened many animals. Soon a fox came along, and the donkey tried to scare him, too. But the fox, hearing the donkey's voice, said, "If you want to terrify me, you'll have to disguise your bray." Aesop's moral: Clothes may disguise a fool, but his words will give him away. - Traditional.

Does our speech, build others up, or tear them down? Does our speech, show the love of Christ? Does our speech, drive sinners away from our Lord? We need to speak graciously at all times, for His glory!

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to speak graciously at all times. Let my words reflect the life and grace of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray, amen.

GBYAY

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