The Gift Of Communication


To answer before listening— that is folly and shame. 

~Proverbs 18:13, NIV


“Empty drums [barrels] make the most noise.”


There is a lot in Proverbs about the tongue and how we use it. Solomon said in 15:28, The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil. The Living Bible reads, “A good man thinks before he speaks.” We take many blessings for granted. Have you given any thought to the gift of speech, to the gift of communication? It was God who gave us the ability to communicate with each other. Can you imagine what it was like for Helen Keller. She was blind, mute and deaf. Just thinking of her causes me to shout thanks to heaven for the precious gift of communication. What a joy to hear, to see and to be able to tell your family and friends what they mean to you. As I read Dr. Wiersbe’s commentary on Proverbs and the gift of communication, I had to stop and think and thinking lead to thanking. Wow! What a blessing to be able to use my tongue in a constructive way. I can use it for praise. I can use it to convey love and affection. I can use it to encourage and uplift. I can use it to exhort, edify, teach and instruct. What a magnificent gift: thank YOU Jesus!

Today, I want us to think about our responsibility in choosing our words. Dr. Wiersbe believes that by making God the focal part of our daily planning, we engage Him in helping us speak the right words at the right time. Words are powerful for both good and ill. They can be used to hurt or help. I know that I am guilty of impetuous speech: speaking without thinking or speaking too quickly. Solomon said in 29:20, “Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” A very good help for speaking the right words is daily bible study. If we saturate our hearts with His word; what we learn from our study is bound to come out. One of the key questions that I ask myself is: will what I have to say help or hurt, discourage or encourage, will it become a part of the problem or a part of the solution. Dr. Landrum Levell spoke at chapel while I was in Seminary and he said something that I’ve never forgotten: “Any jackass can kick a barn down but it takes a skilled carpenter to build one.” It takes no effort, no planning, no thought and no prayer to say something negative. Dr. Wiersbe says {Be Skillful, page 144]}, “To often in church business meetings those who talk the most have the least to say. People who do not prepare their hearts for such meetings make themselves available to become the devil’s tools for hindering God’s work.” What’s sad is that these negative thinkers are proud of their accomplishment.

A certain church has a fantastic youth pastor who was doing a phenomenal work. The leadership of the church recommended a building project to help with youth ministries. A group of nay-sayers conspired to stop the project and they raised such a stink at the business meeting that the leaders put a halt on the entire project. Less than a year later, the youth pastor resigned. It’s the same old, same old for Baptist churches. We allow the tail to wag the dog. There are two rules we should follow: [1] If you don’t contribute financially, you have no right to voice your opinion. As John Tanner use to say, “If you don’t pay the fiddler, stay off of the dance floor.” [2] Secondly: If you don’t have something constructive to say, don’t say anything. Let your leaders lead and stop being a jackass. If you have a word that will be helpful, share it. Your leaders are looking for a solution; help them find it. Be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem. Put some effort into your meditation: come up with a way or a word that will make things better.

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