Viewpoint from Roger Hill 21/8/09
Member of the Yarmouth
Seventh-day Adventist Church
I am not talking about a new form of martial-arts, although it can be just as lethal. But about the fleshy moveable organ in our mouths! Someone once said “Before you speak is it true, is it necessary, is it kind?” It is better to remain silent and be considered a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.
Swallowing angry words is much better than having to eat them, and it takes a mature person to apologize. R.G. Tourneau an outstanding Christian business man, made a fortune, manufacturing large earth-moving equipment. He once remarked, “We used to make a bulldozer known as model G. One day somebody asked our salesman what the G stood for. The quick thinking salesman immediately replied, “I’ll tell you. The G stands for gossip, because like a talebearer this machine moves a lot of dirt fast.”
The trouble with gossip is not so much that it is spoken as an intended lie, but that it is heard as if it were absolute
truth. Just because a tale has been repeated many times by so called reliable sources doesn’t make it true. Helen Keller was left deaf and blind by an incurable childhood illness. A patient and persistent teacher, Anne Sullivan, taught her to read through her senses of touch, smell, and taste. At the close of her autobiography Helen Keller writes; Fate – silent, pitiless – bars the way. Fain would I question his imperious decree; for my heart is undisciplined and passionate, but my tongue will not utter the bitter futile words that rise to my lips, and they back into my heart, like unshed tears! Silence sits immense upon my soul. Then comes hope with a smile and whispers, there is joy in self-forgetfulness. So I try to make the light in other people’s eyes my sun, the music in other
people’s ears my symphony; the smile on other people’s lips my happiness.
The manner in which Jesus spoke is the best example of the effectiveness of righteous words. Even the hardened hearts of the temple guards melted, for they testified, no one ever spoke the way this man does.” John 7 verse 46. The words of Jesus were wise, uplifting, encouraging, knowledgeable and cautious. Even when He issued a rebuke, He did so in a spirit of love with the intention of saving the offending person. He understood the force of simple eloquence and the power of silence. Positive encouraging words inspire both the listener and the speaker. Anger, discontent, selfishness, and impurity are ruinous in effect, while there is marvellous life-giving power in cheerfulness, courage, hope and love. May God give us the power and the wisdom, to control our tongue!