“I have seen a son of Jesse… who plays skillfully, a valiant, a man of war, prudent in speech” (I Sam. 16:18 Amp).
Forgive me! I know the headline is a bit harsh, but both, the revealing picture and the “less than polite” title emphasize today’s subject – prudence in speech– the next virtue of young David. (Warning – You may not like what’s next… and this article is not for the faint-hearted).
Suppose you are someone who flows in the anointing of the Spirit. You know it; the people around you can verify it and, the previous article “The Rise and Power of End Time Anointed Warriors” did not qualify as news. Very well, then I would dare to ask you, how is your tongue doing?
Prudence in our words is an asset that prevents relational mistakes and protects the soul from pollution. In short, prudence in speech is the art of refraining and re-training our ruthless tongue.
“When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise” (Pr. 10:19, NIV). “And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness that can ruin your whole life. It can turn the entire course of your life into a blazing flame of destruction, for it is set on fire by hell itself… Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father and sometimes it breaks out into curses against those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!” Jam. 3:6:9-10 NLT.
The irresponsible tongue is potentially destructive. It can bless God but also curse men. The imprudent person speaks and acts like a judge without measuring the damage of his comments. What’s more, murmuring and gossiping is a popular hobby in some circles.
From the very beginning God condemned gossip (a form of imprudence in our words): Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people. Do not try to get ahead at the cost of your neighbor’s life (Lev. 19: 16, KJV). Gossip can be compared to a computer virus that enters and slowly destroys the operating system. Similarly, the spirit of gossip penetrates a community and does not stop until is divided and ruined.
According to Lev. 19: 16, participating in gossip is like attempting to take the life of your neighbor. God commanded the entire nation of Israel “not” to gossip. Nevertheless, the Jewish people failed to obey and Isaiah reports: “For Jerusalem stumbled, and Judah is fallen, because their tongue and their doings Are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of His glory” (Is. 3:8).
Of course, I am guilty of gossip and slander at times. Most people have done it here and there. However, there are some (especially in ministry) that seem to have a chronic problem!
Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another… who are you to judge your neighbor? (James 4:11-12, NIV). Some leaders often beat their colleagues with judgmental comments without understanding the spiritual power of words. In addition, they accuse other ministers and become defensive while despising what God has given to others, comparing gifts and hoping to prove they are somehow superior or more spiritual than their peers.
Jesus categorically condemned this and so did Paul: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil 2:3-4, NIV).
Are we being prudent in our speech? Does our tongue bless God and curse our brothers at the same time? Have we learned the art of restraining our lips?
Honestly, many Christians take this subject with a grain of salt, not realizing the damage that an evil tongue inflicts. In some communities, lack of confidentiality and discretion is propagating mistrust among brethren (It’s more tempting to circulate faults than intercede for someone before the Lord). Whether the problem is personal, within a family, or affecting a whole church community–we must eliminate the gossip virus. So, for those interested I present a starter antidote:
Learn and master the “Golden Key” Paul gave the Philippians (..continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act to fulfill his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life Phil 2:3-4). The key is: to consider, esteem, and treat others better than yourself. If you honestly do that I promise, it will be hard to judge and bring others down, slander will turn into intercession, and… your charming tongue will learn and cultivate good kingdom manners.
Smile. Jesus loves you!
Pablo Perez is the creator of Encounter God Worship (where you can get 7 Worship Songs, eBooks & Videos for FREE. Also, he is the publisher of Spiritual Fuel a Free Daily Devotional for your heart.