Home » Resources » Devotional Resources

Salty speech

15th November 2014

Our everyday words are to be instruments of righteousness. The mouth of the righteous flows with wisdom . We are warned everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. There are some phrases Christians are taking up that are just plain worldly and we should take stock.
Here's one: ‘o-m-g'. It sounds cheap, lazy and unbecoming on the lips of those whose speech is to be seasoned by the Holy Spirit. It seems to have come from the American mid-day soapies with bouffant blondes screeching their ‘O my g-d's' at the most inconsequential stimuli. Maybe it takes the place of using the Messiah's title as an expletive and in a way that is back-hand acknowledgement since no one bothers to use Mohammed or Hindu demi-gods in such a way. Exclaim the Name in public situations as an expression of joy and thanksgiving, for sure. If you are confident enough!
Another one to get rid of, ‘to be honest, blah blah'. I feel like replying ; OK so what you have hitherto said is ‘B' grade truth, but now you want me to take note. Look, all that a follower of Christ says should be honest and truthful. Drop this one its silly and superfluous. Be imaginative find an alternative phrase, you might be a trend setter!
And then there is ‘I don't mean to be nasty-but', or ‘I don't mean to sound like I'm gossiping-but!' The truth, or at least the real intent always comes after the 'but'. What comes after the but is mostly nasty and mostly gossip. O! that unruly tongue. Believers should eschew such speech, it has no honourable place with them. Remember our Lord Jesus speaks well of us before the Father. So we might let His Spirit lead us in speaking well of each other. I suspect, more damage has been done to childrens' view of church hearing their parents having roast minister for Sunday lunch or bagging other members than anything else. What a discipline this is!
Another cousin to this one is ‘I really feel guilty about-etc, etc'. Fact is there is usually no guilt at all ,at best awkwardness, embarrassment and usually that subtle virus we all carry, looking for another massage of our self justifying ego with an ‘O no, you shouldn't feel guilty'. Fact is we are either guilty or we are not. If we are we should repent. If we are not we should quit such silly talk and be a bit more sensible.
Next to this is the more spiritual ‘God told me' or the more nuanced ‘I sense the Lord is saying to me to tell you' We should desist such efforts at spiritual smartness and just say it. Others can and will judge how likely it has come from the holy place and therefore how seriously it is to be taken.
But I have another with which few will probably agree but I am going to stick with it. Its the word ‘create'. We use it all the time . Microsoft brought it to parlance. We create a document or some configuration on the screen, save it and refer to it as ‘I created' Wrong! We make, develop, construct, produce or procreate . We never can or shall create. The word means ‘to bring out of nothing'. The Hebrew word it translates in Scripture is never used of anything humans devise, only what God does. Humans can't create. Some words like the German translation of the Hebrew dabbar preserve that meaning. Maybe we can be ‘creative', a slightly different sense of the word. Lets acknowledge in humility our limitations and honour the Living God with words fitting His glory.
Of course there are many others. ‘Amazing'. If a quality chocolate is amazing what is God's grace? We should control our hyperbole.
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, Wise choice of words, clichés and idioms are opportunity to honour our Lord, who intercedes for us. And let there be plenty of thanksgiving! We can impact the world through what we say. And don't say!

Ian Clarkson

Leave a comment