Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
Paul knew how to talk to all men. He spoke as a father to those needing fathers. He rebuked sharply when it was time to rebuke. He encouraged when it was time to encourage. That is the true gospel of Christ – not a formula of religiously nice and kind and artificially positive words, but rather a Spirit-led tongue, attached to a Spirit-led mind, understanding the times and purposes of God.
Peter, who had earlier in his walk demonstrated good intention eroded by impetuous declarations, later came under the sway of the Spirit and said it this way:
1 Pet 1:11
If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
The goal, as well as the motivation, ought to be the glorification of God. That can come forth in joyful and light-hearted conversation, a business negotiation, a sermon or teaching.
At the same time, the nuclear-warhead recessed in our mouths is presented as a potentially dangerous weapon by James, the Lord’s brother. He understood the accountability of the tongue. He identified speech as a weathervane of our self-control in other areas of our life.
2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.
God spoke the world into existence, and we as His children are invited and commanded to continue the holy and creative process of speaking forth the Kingdom.
It’s no wonder that a war-of-words streams through our environment, in negativity, accusation, false doctrine, blasphemies.
Our response is a sanctified tongue. Lord help me. Help us.
35 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
36 “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
37 “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
As things progress forward towards the end of this age, I believe the Spirit-led saints will learn, more and more, of both the potential as well as the jeopardy of our words.
All scriptures NKJV