In order to make this topic more practical, take for example the parent/child relationship. By using language (which is composed of words that carry a specific meaning), a parent communicates with his/her child on a regular basis. Contained within the words a parent says to his/her child are meaningful statements that have an effect on the child. With the meaning of the words the parent communicates to a child, the child develops an outlook on life and an outlook on himself/herself. In addition, through this relationship, there is a learning of what is appropriate and acceptable regarding the usage of words and what is not acceptable or appropriate. A child will develop a language based upon what he or she hears on a regular basis. However, language is not only important for children or the less learned. The words used by those who are old enough to know what is appropriate or not reveals volumes of information about one's character, beliefs, and integrity. Never is this point more critical than in the life of an individual who has professed Christ as Lord and Savior.
In Luke 6:45b Jesus is recorded as saying, "For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks." In an effort to keep this statement within its original context, this is the whole verse: "The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks" (Luke 6:45). In this section of teaching Jesus was talking about the fact that the character, the morals, and the integrity found within a man's nature will come out through that man's actions—specifically his words. Thus, the things we say reflect our internal character. Therefore (putting together Paul's teaching and Jesus' teaching), if we say we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, then our nature is being refined according to God's standard of holiness and righteousness and there is no place for evil to remain within us and come out through our words and phrases. In other words, to reference James 3:10, our words from our mouths should not attempt to mix obscenity and unwholesome talk with the praise and adoration to Holy God whose very nature stands opposed to such profane things. It is my prayer that believers would take note of the witness for Jesus Christ available to them with their language and use their words to be the light to the ever-darkening world in which we live while leaving the coarse, obscene, and profane behind as it has been removed by the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross.
James Christopher Powell has served as assistant minister in Northwest Florida for ten years.
He studies at The Baptist College of Florida where he is working on a Master's degree in Christians Studies.
He married his wife Jennifer in March 2014.