Your talk shows and reveals your personality. It uncovers what is inside you, “For by your words, you will be justified, and by your words, you will be condemned!” (Matt. 12:37)
Talk is not to be taken slightly. By judging you could be judged and by the word ‘fool’, you might be in danger of hell fire. Some talk says the Lord ,defiles the person. James the apostle describes the tongue as ‘fire’ that “kindles from hell.”
The faults of the tongue are many. They made the saints favour silence:
There is blasphemy, lying, abuse mockery, scornful talk, harsh and angry words, bitterness and envy, talk of pride and boasting, exaggeration, words of hypocrisy and deceit, false witness and repudiating others, foolish disputes and prattle… etc.
There are faults that affect the person himself and faults that are stumbling blocks for others.
For example, the talk a person pours into the ears of others defiles the purity of their hearts and thoughts or spoils their faith and the soundness of their knowledge. It could also damage their relationship with others and cause friction between them. It could also make them change their minds about their friends. Many are the victims of talk!
The Bible advises us to slow down in speaking, at least to get a chance to think… St. James, the Apostle said, “.,.let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” (James 1:19).
The one who hastens or rushes in his talk, is bound to err. He might regret it, but after being recorded against him, he cannot get it back…
However, there is useful talk. The spirit-borne used to come to our fathers from the farthest ends of the world, asking for a word of benefit…
There are words of the spirit and words of grace, like the words that God puts in the mouth of people to pass on to others, “It is not you who speak but the Spirit of your Father, ” who spoke through the prophets…
Therefore, the Psalmist says, “O Lord, open my lips and my mouth shall show forth your praise.” Is it then God who opens your lips?…
Among the gentle words: a word of blessing, a word of comfort, a word of encouragement, a word of solution, a word of guidance, a word of teaching, and also a word of rebuke, if it is said with love.
The word which is from God never returns empty. It is strong, live and effective. It penetrates the heart, bears fruit and changes souls.
Talk then when it is right to talk and know how to talk and when.
— Originally written by H.H Pope Shenouda III