Isn’t it amazing that God has called us one of His saints – someone who is holy? For those of us who want to live the life of a saint that is worthy of this calling, it is important to watch the words of our mouth. For instance, we must be quick to bless others, instead of cursing them when we get upset. It is also true concerning everything else we say about others. God wants us to guard ourselves from speaking evil of anyone!
The Apostle Paul wrote these words to Titus, one of his sons in the faith:
“Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing humility to all men.” Titus 3:1-2 NKJV (emphasis mine.)
Many years ago, I felt a great stirring in my heart when I was meditating on this passage of Scripture. I felt challenged in my spirit to make a decision that from day forward I would speak evil of no one. Raising one hand to Heaven in a solemn oath, I said, “Father, from this day forward I will speak evil of no man.” By saying that, I resolved in my heart that I would speak evil of no one else from that day forward. It seemed simple enough, and I thought that it was a done deal.
Whenever we make a declaration like that before the Lord, we need to realize that He will take it very seriously. We will be judged by the words of our mouth!
A few days later, I visited a Pastor in another city and I had a great time of fellowship together with him. During the course of our conversation, he mentioned the name of a minister I had heard about, but never met. Immediately, I repeated something negative about that minister that I had heard from someone else. This happened three times. To my shame, each time I said something negative, this Pastor told me something he really appreciated about that man of God. When he did, I just hung my head in shame. Here I had resolved not to say anything negative about another person, and I had done it three times.
After hanging my head the third time, the Holy Spirit spoke to me. He told me that He had orchestrated that whole conversation to show me how often I spoke evil of other ministers, and I didn’t even realize it. I bowed my head and repented right there on the spot, and vowed with God’s help to never to do it again.
Over the years since that day, I have kept a watch over my mouth, and I have been very careful of what I said about other ministers. When I did miss it, I was quick to repent, and I made every effort to also say what I appreciated about that particular minister. Then the Holy Spirit taught me more. He began to apply that same principle to every person I spoke about – not only other saints, but also everyone else!
When we allow the Holy Spirit to become our teacher, He will teach us how to live a life that is pleasing to God. In fact, He will help us with everything we do. This is how He helps us perfect the holiness of God in our lives. This is why the Apostle Paul wrote:
“Therefore having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1 NKJV , emphasis mine.)
The Apostle James also cautioned us how we talk about others, when he wrote:
“Do not speak evil of one another, brethren.” (James 4:11 NKJV)
When we speak evil of someone else and put them down, it grieves the Holy Spirit. This also true when you malign other people and call them names. This is why the Apostle Paul wrote:
“Let no corrupt word proceed out your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking (of others) be put away from you, with all malice.” Ephesians 4:29-31 NKJV (emphases mine and words in parentheses mine.)
Most people do not realize that it is pride that causes them to put other people down. They don’t realized that by speaking evil of others, their pride is exalting them over others by putting them down. This is why it grieves the Holy Spirit so much. This is also why we need to always watch the words of our mouth. This is also why we must bless others, instead of cursing them with our words. Does that make sense to you?
Over the years I have asked the Holy Spirit to teach me about holiness, and humility, and the fear of the Lord. I soon realized that in order to understand humility, I had to also understand pride, and the Holy Spirit has taught me how to recognize pride in my life. Yes, even though I am careful to live a humble life before the Lord, I know that pride can raise its ugly head at any moment. By knowing how to recognize pride, I can stop it before I ever open my mouth.
If we want to live a life pleasing to God, we must be be quick to repent and quick to humble ourselves before Him. We may have to also do that before other people! As the Apostle Paul wrote to Titus, God wants us “to show humility to all men” (Titus 3:2). How can you do this? By guarding the words of our mouth and being careful not to speak evil of anyone.
You are holy, dear saint!
[All Scripture quotations have The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright 1982, Thomas Nelson Inc.]