“Be an example…in…speech.” 1Ti 4:12 GNT
It’s nice to say, “Be an example,” but in what specific areas? For the next few days let’s look at some of them: “Be an example…in speech.” Go back and read what Paul says to Timothy before this: “Don’t let anybody look down on you because…” When you speak, your credibility is at stake. Solomon says, “Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him” (Pr 29:20). The trouble with words is, once they’re spoken their impact is felt either positively or negatively—and you can’t take them back! You can say you’re sorry, but you may have to rebuild your credibility with the person you spoke to, or about. Here’s the litmus test for your words, and it’s a high standard: “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord” (Ps 19:14 NLT). The poet wrote: “A careless word may kindle strife, a cruel word may wreck a life. A gracious word may soothe the way, a joyous word may light the day. A timely word may lessen stress, a loving word may heal and bless.” So today let your words be faith-building, for people battle with doubt and fear. Let your words be comforting, for people have wounds you cannot see. Let your words be uplifting, for people get torn down by criticism and discouragement. Let your words be calming, for God has promised to bless you if you are a peacemaker. And let your words be character-building; that way you’ll leave people better off than you found them.