“And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word” (Acts 4:29).
Lest the many Biblical warnings concerning how not to use our tongues seem too intimidating, it is good to realize that there are also many passages to encourage us in the right use of this all-important member of the body. In the first place, we should be bold in witnessing, but that boldness should be in the word of God, as the prayer of our text stipulates. That prayer was answered: “And when they had prayed, . . . they spake the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31).
The Christian’s speech should always be edifying, not destructive: “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” (Ephesians 4:29). It should be gracious and appropriate to the need of the hearers. “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:6). “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8). It is obvious that if our very thoughts should center on things which are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report, then so should our conversation.
In this, as in all things, Christ Himself is our example. “Never man spake like this man” (John 7:46). “Grace is poured into thy lips” (Psalm 45:2). As one reads the words of Christ in the gospels, he hears in action the perfect use of the human tongue, with always exactly the right words in the right manner for every situation. We may not, in this life, attain His perfection, but He must always be our pattern and goal. HMM