Sunday, May 29, 2022


By Joe Slater


    Jesus and the inspired New Testament writers had far more to say about our speech (words, tongue) than about baptism or the Lord’s Supper. That takes nothing away from the importance of immersion or communion. It simply exposes the need to pay heed to what we say.

    Is this a salvation issue? Listen to Jesus: “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37). “Idle” literally means “without work.” We speak idle words when we’re too lazy to do the work of thinking first. We carelessly “shoot from the lip!” We would do well to “start brain before engaging mouth.”

    It’s hard work to control our speech. James observed that “no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). Though we can’t tame it, we must control that terrible tongue! “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless” (1:26).

    Paul exhorted, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29). Apply that to your keyboard too! Take a second look before you send that post on social media. Are you glorifying God when you post vulgar words? Surely your vocabulary isn’t so limited that you can’t make your point without using crude language!

    “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6).
- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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