One of the greatest challenges of growing in Christ (or progressive sanctification), is to learn how to daily overcome, through repentance, our chronic sins of poor communication. This imperfect ability, is so vital, because one of the many obvious marks of a true Christian is that he is daily “putting to death” his sins, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13). Such deeds or sins, include those of both our non-verbal and verbal communication.
As a Christian grows, he should notice an increasing concern, or sensitivity to how he’s communicating to all men, both believer and unbeliever alike. This is why Paul told the Ephesians (4:29), “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
We must be careful how we use of our own tongue and its tone, coupled with our body language, which assist the words which will proceed out of our mouths. O how many personal friendships have been severed, O how many marriages divided, O how many families damaged, O how many business relationships ruined, and O how many churches have been destroyed by Christians who are not careful with their tongues?
Therefore, James warns us about this little member of our body, which is encased behind our lips and teeth, “For we all stumble in many ways, and if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body … So also, the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members … setting on fire the entire course of life … set on fire by hell… the tongue 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 3:2-9).
Dear brethren, let us pray carefully that we will all work on HOW and WHAT we communicate, and to WHOM, while at-the-same-time, never forgetting those sobering words of our Lord Jesus Christ, “I tell you, on the Day of Judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak” (Matthew 12:36).
In conclusion, let us draw near to God, first, by taking heed to our heart preparation today, for encountering the living God tomorrow, in our public Worship service, both through our praises and prayers to Him, with God’s people; and secondly, through our attending to the reading and preaching of His Holy, inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word! Soli Deo Gloria! Happy Reformation Year 500!!