Grace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control. Five out of the eight fruits of the spirit deal squarely with our behavior, speech and demeanor. In a culture where “bold and brazen” are encouraged, how can a woman cultivate a spirit of meekness becoming an ornament of grace?
So often, I do not choose grace. I do not speak with “the law of kindness on my tongue”. Yet, we are commanded by our Lord to edify others with our speech and so, by His grace, I’m on a mission to cultivate a “grace-filled tongue”.
“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36-37
A woman’s speech reflects her inmost heart. What do people see in me? Do they see a beautiful, feminine picture of grace and kindness? Or do they see a negative, hateful person who is ever critical of those around her? Do they see a woman who answers with wisdom, gentleness and self-control? Or one who bites back in anger and rashness?
Our speech also greatly impacts those around us. I know I’ve become aware of that through the things I say to my siblings. Whatever you say to a person, they eventually come to believe it. Is is good and praising, or negative and criticizing? Am I a “fountain of life” or do my words bring death?
“She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and on her tongue is the law of kindness.” Proverbs 31:26
“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.” Ephesians 4:29
I believe I can be strong in my beliefs, conversations, thoughts, and still bring glory to Christ. In the battle we fight with the darkness, it is our STRONG faith in Christ, our firmness in our convictions that get us through the fiery trials. Satan tries to trip us up by our tongues because he knows “God hates a lying tongue.” Proverbs 6:17. It is victory to Satan when we can’t control our tongue and throw graceful speech out the window.
“He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.”
“Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” Colossians 4:5-6
The Bible discusses the sins of the tongue and speaking with grace over thirty times! I think God is serious on this one. There are many forms of the ungracious tongue. The lying tongue (Prov.6:17, Revelation 21:8), the proud tongue (Psalm 12:3-4 ), the backbiting tongue (Prov.25:23, Romans 1:30), the swift tongue (Prov.18:13), and the piercing tongue (Proverbs 12:18, Titus 2:8).
I have found it is not impossible. Just when I think I can do no more, when I fail once again in bridling my tongue, God slowly answers my prayers. “Seek and ye shall find”, He says. “Ask and it shall be given”! He is sufficient to supply our weakness if we are deliberate in seeking His help.
Let us strive to wield the sword of truth, of feminine strength and of a grace-filled tongue, always resting in the promise that our prayers will be received and answered.