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Words Fitly Spoken Part 1

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March 11th, 2013 | Filed Under: Author, Mitch Kuhn, Topical Studies, Words Fitly Spoken0 Comments | Author:

The words we speak are very important because they manifest what is in our heart. I hope to show in this study how paying close attention to the words we speak will help us see the wickedness of our heart, repent, and be healed.
Once this healing takes place, we will be able to speak good words that edify and comfort others. There is no escaping this process, we must first speak evil words from a wicked heart, before we can speak good words from a new heart.

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The words we speak are very important because they manifest what is in our heart. I hope to show in this study how paying close attention to the words we speak will help us see the wickedness of our heart, repent, and be healed.
Once this healing takes place, we will be able to speak good words that edify and comfort others. There is no escaping this process, we must first speak evil words from a wicked heart, before we can speak good words from a new heart.

Mat 12:35 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.
Mat 12:36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
Mat 12:37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

We are judged by what comes out of our mouth because it manifests the heart.

1Sa 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Luke 6:45 NKJV…. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Let’s now look at James 3, which explains the importance of our speech.

Jas 3:2 NKJV 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.
Jas 3:3 Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body.
Jas 3:4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.
Jas 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!

Our tongue is like the tip of an iceberg. It is a small thing, but it is supported by what is under the surface (the heart).


It is easy to just look at the surface of an iceberg and not think much of it. We have no idea at first glance how much ice underwater it takes to make that one little bit of ice appear above the surface. The same is true of our words. Whether we speak good or evil, it is just a small reflection of the depths of good or evil in our hearts.

Jas 3:6 NKJV 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.

The tongue manifests that the whole body is already defiled. It was defiled from the very beginning.

Jer 18:4 NKJV And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.

Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Jer 17:9 NKJV “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?

Let me explain, James 3:6 “and sets on fire the course of nature”. The word “nature” if often translated as “generation”. The root word G1074 reinforces the translation as “generation”. Here are two example of this root word.

Heb 3:10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.

Luk 9:41 And Jesus answering said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you? Bring thy son hither.

James is using “nature” or “generation” in a negative application, therefore it represents evil that needs to be destroyed in our lives. Said another way it is wood, hay and stubble.

1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

Our wickedness has a course that must be run. It is inevitable that one day our wicked heart will be revealed that it may be judged. Our tongue manifests what is in our heart and makes it obvious that our wicked works will burn

Mar 7:15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.

Our words and actions are what come out of us to manifest that we are defiled. We cannot tame the tongue any more than we can change the condition of our own wicked hearts.

Jas 3:7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind.
Jas 3:8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

This is the same problem Paul expresses in Romans 7. He has no power of himself to do what is right.

Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

It is only the power of God, through Christ that we can be delivered from our wicked heart and in turn our evil tongue.

Eze 36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
Eze 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
Eze 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

The Lord created us with this wicked heart, and he will manifest that to us in due time. When we see our wickedness, all we can do is cry out for deliverance, knowing we have no power of ourselves to be delivered.

Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

The Lord first makes us a vessel of dishonor before we are a vessel of honor. This is manifest through what comes out of our mouths.

Jas 3:9 NKJV With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.
Jas 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.
Jas 3:11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?
Jas 3:12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.
Jas 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.
Jas 3:14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.

What kind of a tree are we? Just look at the fruit.

Luk 6:43 NKJV “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.
Luk 6:44 NKJV For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush.
Luk 6:45 NKJV A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Speaking what is good is not just a matter of “watching our mouth”. That is only cleaning the outside of the cup. When we speak what is evil, there is a far deeper problem… the inside of our cup is dirty.
Here is what is inside of our cup when we speak evil.

Jas 3:15 NKJV This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.
Jas 3:16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

We naturally seek our own profit and not the good of others. We envy what others have and this results in evil speech.

Jas 3:17 NKJV But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
Jas 3:18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

If our words are to be good and peaceful, then our hearts need to be filled with those things we just read in James 3:17,18. The opposite of envy is contentment. When we are content with what the Lord has brought into our lives, it is reflected in our words.

1Ti 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1Ti 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
1Ti 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
1Ti 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

There are many ways in which we seek to be rich. It can be obvious like money and physical possessions, or other ways like health, fitness, knowledge, fame, the approval of others, etc. It all comes down to the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.

1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

When we love the world, we always want more because it does not produce contentment. This covetous and envious spirit will come out of our mouths if it is in our heart.
It is good to desire the riches of the spirit, but we can even purse the riches of Christ in haste and not be content with the bread the Lord has gives us for today.

Pro 23:4 Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.

Mat 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.

I have often found myself wanted more than my daily allotment of bread. It is so deceptive because I’m desiring the riches of Christ. However, when I am not being granted the energy or time to labor in the spirit, I need to be content with my bread for that day.

Pro 30:8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
Pro 30:9 Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

I have often not been content with neither riches nor poverty, I wanted riches! I wanted energy to study all day long, to be very productive for the Lord.
It is right to want to be a good steward. But I can only steward the talents that I am given to me. Often times I just don’t have the energy or time to do what I think is productive for the Lord. This resulted in corrupt thoughts in my mind and speech coming out of my mouth. Rather than gratitude for what I am given it has been a subtle murmuring about always wanting more.
We will all be discontent with what the Lord causes each of us to do at times. The tendency of the flesh is to always want more. Lord willing we’ll all overcome this evil spirit in time.

Php 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

It is the Lord giving us the strength to labor so we must be content with what he gives to us.

Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

There is a time to wait on the Lord. When we can wait with patience, it results in reflection and praise on what has been already accomplished.

Psa 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Psa 126:3 The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.

This is a very narrow way, because we cannot be content to live in sin. If God is dragging us then we will have a desire to overcome any evil that is made know to us in our own lives.

Jas 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

Php 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Php 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Never the less, discontented and ungrateful heart produces a froward (perverse) mouth.

Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

We have a perverse mouth anytime we speak what is not the truth of God’s word.

Pro 10:31 NKJV The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, But the perverse tongue will be cut out.
Pro 10:32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, But the mouth of the wicked what is perverse.

We don’t easily see ourselves as having a perverse tongue. I have typically thought of perverse as relating to only sexual sins. Here is the definition of our English word “perverse”.

Contrary to the accepted or expected standard or practice.

If we look at this from a spiritual perspective, then anything we do that is contrary to what God considers to be acceptable, is perverse.
This relates to being accountable for every idle word. We think some of our words are idle, but to God every word we speak manifests what is in our hearts, and will be judged.
Another way of saying this is that every thought must be taken captive.

2Co 10:5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

With this in mind, let us examine our speech.

Ephesians 5:4-5 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

It is so common to make crude jokes, either about unclean topics with unclean words, or at the expense of others. One of the most socially acceptable ways that this is done is through sarcasm.
Here is the definition of sarcasm:

The use of irony to mock or convey contempt.

Our speech is supposed to be used to build up others, not tear them down.

Ephesians 4:2 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

If the words in our mind are not edifying, then we should not say them and instead pray for the Lord to cleanse our heavens.
There are times that Paul uses sarcasm and irony to give loving correction to the disobedient. He is doing this out of love for their benefit.

1Co 4:10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored!

At first, our use of sarcasm is just to get a laugh, to mock someone, or an expression of our covetous, ungrateful spirit. Once our heavens have been cleaned, we can begin to use sarcasm and irony to benefit others and not tear them down.
This is how we should speak.

1 Corinthians 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

Col 4:6 NKJV Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

What is grace?


This word basically means favor. Here are some examples.

Act 2:47 NKJV praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

Luk 1:30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

What does God do when he has favor towards us? He teaches and chastens us.

Tit 2:11 NKJV For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12 NKJV teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,

Here is the word translated as “teaching” above.

From G3816; to train up a child, that is, educate, or (by implication) discipline (by punishment): – chasten (-ise), instruct, learn, teach.

A few examples:

2Ti 2:24 NKJV And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient,
2Ti 2:25 in humility correcting (G3811) those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,

Heb 12:7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten (G3811)?

If we really love others then to have grace (favor) towards them is to teach them the truth of God’s word. We do this through our words and through our actions by setting a good example.
This is how we are the salt of the earth.

Mat 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
Mat 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.

Col 4:6 NKJV Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

While it is good to teach others, there is a time to refrain from teaching and just listen and comfort.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Ecclesiastes 3:7 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

May the Lord grant us all wisdom to know when to keep silence and when to speak. The book of Job teaches us how to be a good comforter. Clearly there is a time to sit with those suffering and just be quiet.

Job 2:11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.
Job 2:12 And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.
Job 2:13 So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.

There is also a time to refrain from giving cheerful words:

Pro 25:20 Like one who takes away a garment in cold weather, And like vinegar on soda, Is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

We must speak the right words at the right time for them to be a blessing to others.

Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

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