In my job interview I was asked about my language and the way I speak to young people. I had spent a few minutes outlining the importance of identifying with youth culture and relating to young people and then the panel asked me about my language and how I would relate to young people in school when they're casually swearing. Eek!
The answer I gave was about Ephesians 4:29... 'Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.' I told them this is the standard I want to aim for in all my talk with others and especially with my work with young people. They seemed impressed with my answer. Phew!
Of course, that was the easy bit! I knew what I should say in the interview and although I was being sincere and honest, I knew that living it out in practice would be a lot harder to do! Can I really say that I only speak when it's to say things that I know will benefit those who hear me? No way! My mouth runs away with itself sometimes and I find myself rambling on about all sorts of rubbish - even when I'm trying desperately to help someone! Sometimes the best thing for me to do in order to wisely help someone is to just shut up!
I think Solomon gives us 3 ideas about wise people and their words:
- They are gracious. Selfless talk not selfish talk. They do others good (v12)
- They are controlled. Not running away into sin (v13)
- They are to the point and not aimless. (v14)
'If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything' - Mark Twain.
A prayer - Lord, help me to honour you with my words and to be wise and not stupid! Amen!