"Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one." -Colossians 4:6, NKJV
"But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head - Christ." Ephesians 4:15, NKJV
Whether it is speaking or sending, tweeting or texting, these days, some of our words are being broadcast all over the globe. Personally, I think the world-wide-web is a web indeed! It entangles people in all kinds of statements that can never be taken back. Whatever we say or do is captured forever, for all to see, comment upon, and even argue against! But long before that nice Al Gore invented the internet for us, the Bible was admonishing us to be careful with our words.
James 3:6 says: "And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell." Given the power of words, we must be careful, since we are living in a world that wants to profess its own beliefs and proclaim them as "my truth!" Trouble is, most of what people want to believe isn't true, to begin with; it is merely personal opinion. That is why the Bible admonishes us to focus our attention on what God's Word says, not what we would want it to say.
Proverbs 5:21-23 says: "For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths. His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, and he is caught in the cords of his sin. He shall die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray." In contrast to that, Psalm 25:8-10 says: "Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He teaches sinners in the way. The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies." This takes us back to how we use our words. We are either going to tell people our own opinions about things, or we are going to tell them what the Bible says.
Nevertheless, we must always, "speak the truth in love," as Ephesians 4:15 says. So many people err on one side or the other of this equation. Some people are willing to speak the truth of God's word, but they do not do so out of concern and love. Although they may be speaking truth, if it is not done out of love, it isn't truthful, because the Bible says, "He who does not love does not know God, for God is love." (1 John 4:8). Others err, because although they are willing to speak about the love of God, if they do not affirm what God's word says, it isn't loving, because the Bible says: "He who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." (1 John 2:4).
Speaking the truth in love is how we are to give an answer to those who ask the reason for the hope that is within us! (1 Peter 3:15) Our hope is based on following the commandments of God and experiencing His loving guidance for our lives, as well as those we hope to love and encourage!
Blessings & Peace, Brother Dan