CAN WE TALK?

Joe R. Price

            The ability to communicate is the difference between unified achievement and confusion. The unfinished city and tower of Babel attest to the role communication plays in success or failure (Gen. 11:4-9).

            Christians who cannot or will not talk to one another contribute to the weakening of the body of Christ. Whether it is a kind word of  encouragement needed by a fellow saint, a word of warning to beware of temptations and sin, a teaching of truth to the lost or a rebuke of sinful error, the inability to talk to each other hinders the strengthening and salvation of souls. God’s word must be communicated so it can be heard and produce faith unto salvation (Rom. 10:8, 13-17).

            Can we talk without a spirit of superiority? Sadly, some Christians convey an air of condescension when they talk with others. Such ought not to be (Rom. 12:16; Phil. 2:3). Rest assured, communication will be hindered where humility toward others is lacking. How we say our words can have a much greater impact for good or evil that what we say. You may have the truth, but if you display smugness or self-importance when you speak it, you will not communicate effectively. Most likely, you will make it harder to be heard.

            Can we talk with words that are gracious? The apostle said, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Col. 4:6). To successfully talk with others we must speak with kindness, not rancor or malice. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Prov. 15:1). Oh, how our marriages would profit by a “soft answer” instead of harsh and vindictive speech! What strength would be garnered in a church where brethren live the timeless truth that “a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Prov. 25:11). To do otherwise is a sinful use of the tongue (Jas. 3:9-10).

            Can we talk to the lost about their souls? The gospel will save, but it must be communicated to the lost to do so (Rom. 1:16; Mk. 16:15). The word of God must be spoken to save souls from sin, not philosophies, not psychologies and not religious traditions (Col. 2:8). We can speak the truth in love; the question is, will we? (Eph. 4:15)

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