Modesty of Speech
When we think about modesty, we think about how we dress. You all who have been here a while know that I believe that modesty of dress is very important and something we need to talk about more often. You can read several posts I have wrote previously on modesty by going HERE.
One character trait that is often not thought of is modesty of speech. This is one many of us struggle with on occasion, myself included. It’s a well known fact that I frequent Facebook often. Recently, however, I have had to put restrictions on it; restrictions on time and the amount of friends on my list. My friends count grew and so did the amount of things being posted that did not bring God glory. I would find myself commenting on someone’s status to clear up scripture, but then someone else would comment and this would go on for hours, if not days. By the end of it all, someone left with hurt feelings or said something that was irrelevant to the comment but attacked me or another commenter personally. While I believe Facebook and other social media sites are a wonderful tool and I truly enjoy it, it can also be a dividing factor amongst Christians. Personally, I want to defend God’s word, but God’s word doesn’t need defended; His Word stands alone. The sad thing is that much of the division and arguing I see on Facebook is coming from professing Christians. My mom was recently attacked on her wall by a Preacher of a church she had attended. That is truly a shame! We as Christians should take our witness more serious than that. While it may seem it is an innocent comment in Facebook or real life, is that how the person will take it? So it came to the point that I prayed about what to do. God laid it on my heart to cut down on the amount of friends I had and focus Facebook on those who truly are there as friends, who do build me up and not tear me down, and those whom I interact with in my blogging circle. I kept all my family and a few high-school friends. After removing over 200 people from my friend’s list, I can say that I truly enjoy Facebook again. Not all my friends agree with me all the time, not all are even Christians, but those I chose to keep are ones who are not intent on arguing to the death of things that are not important. They don’t tear me down constantly and they choose to build me up. These are my friends.
So all the “drama” I have recently saw unfold through both personal and blogger Facebook pages led me to write this post. How should a Christian be modest in speech?
- Cursing and fowl language – This can also include slangy talk that often borders on cursing or words that are not true and pure. 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. Recently, our kids picked up a couple of these slangy talk phrases. We had to sit them down and talk about this with them. In the end it meant giving up a couple things that were not bad but had a couple of these phrases in them because it was leading them to temptation. My friends, having impure speech is not character traits of Godly sisters and brothers. If you struggle in this area, seek out the Lord and ask him to help you, dive into the word of God, ask for prayer warriors and accountability partners to lift you up and help you overcome this.
- Putdowns,Insults, Sarcasm, Harsh Words, Critical Speech, and Arguing – Our tongue has a lot of power. The Bible refers to it as being sharper then a two-edged sword. WOW! If just our words can be that painful, as Christians we should try even harder to watch and guard what we say. We can go back to Ephesians 4:29 again.
- Complaining, flattery, and bragging – Part of being a lady is having gracious speech and using self-control in that speech. Like everyone else, we have numerous opportunities to say hurtful, sarcastic and mean things. Modesty comes by not saying them even if given the opportunity. As ladies, we want to always choose grace, class, and, above all, we want to speak in a manner that glorifies God. Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. Matthew 12:33-37.
- Gossip – I’m not judging or pointing fingers, but I’m sure it’s a pretty safe assumption that many of us ladies here struggle with this. Satan sure knows how to trip us up and catch us in this sin pattern. I have had people tell me that the only reason they set up a Facebook account was to keep up on the latest gossip. I don’t think of Facebook that way. I like seeing what others are doing and reading about their life, but it isn’t to gossip. Gossip is really easy to fall into and sadly many of us in church are the world’s worst! Scripture tells us that we are gossiping whenever we (1) Fall into the trap of talking too much about others. A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.- Proverbs 16:28. (2) We intentionally use our words to add fuel to a fire or to cause division in the body of Christ. Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.- Proverbs 26:20. (3) When we talk about topics that we simply should avoid. And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.- 1 Timothy 5:13, (4) Someone tells you a secret and you go and tell it. A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.- Proverbs 11:13.
I know it can be really difficult not to fall into gossip, but if you are struggling in this area ask God to help you. Confess those gossiping sins, ask for forgiveness from God and the subject of the gossip, and think of how much hurt this can bring to others. The Bible goes on talking more about gossip in Romans. Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents Romans 1:29-30.
Gossip is really talked about in this scripture. Why do you think it is brought up as such a serious “sin”? It is simple. It is important to God that we avoid it.
Ladies, our friendships with each other is a gift from God. They are to be valued, not to be torn down and stomped on. Not watching our speech to other sisters or brothers in Christ turns those relationships into something shameful and tears them apart. We do not have to degrade, tear down, or name call. Honestly, that is called bullying. We can not be walked on and yet stand firm in our beliefs.
- Inappropriate joking – I see this from both males and females these days and it is simply just trash. Do you make sexual jokes and think they are funny? Do you joke, brag, or complain about sexual issues with your friends? Are you using this as a time to gossip about your husband or to make fun of him in ways you shouldn’t? If you’re unmarried, are you using sexual innuendos to grab the attention of the opposite sex? While that kind of talk may certainly draw attention to you, it will never draw the kind of respect you truly desire and ultimately deserve.
This is a 2 way street with both males and females. Neither should be making these types of jokes or innuendos. Ladies, you need to expect respect from males and not cheap talk. If you are not married and he is using that kind of talk, what do you think your married life will be like? Is he going to respect you? Encouraging this talk by laughing at it, sharing the jokes, responding to nasty come-ons, and talk and curse like sailors ourselves, it is no wonder it is so hard for women today to “find a man who respects them”. None of this is from God.
- Inappropriate media – This is something I have posted on before here and here but I want to share again. We must stop supporting this type of media. Spending money on it, filling our minds with it, and/or encouraging it says we are okay with it. It also desensitizes us to crude talk and language. We cannot demand respect while we are watching it on TV and laughing at the rude and crude jokes and quotes! This doesn’t stop with television programs, it also includes the music we listen to. Do you like pages on Facebook that contradict the Bible or are constantly posting things that harm God’s Word, ridicule God’s Word, or contradict the Bible? What about the books you read?
The Bible has much to say about our speech, both in written form and verbal form. There are more verses that I could list and I would suggest maybe doing a study on this in your Bible time. Actually, as part of me being more intentional this year, modest speech is something I am putting more focus on, too.
Here is a tip for pure speech (THINK):
True – Is what you’re going to share truthful?
Helpful – Is the information helpful or will it be harmful?
Inspirational – Does it bring God glory?
Necessary – Is what you’re saying necessary? Could it be phrased in a better way?
Kind – Is what you’re saying, sharing, or writing kind?
Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 1 Peter 3:3-4
The things that tear us apart from God and His Will, such as anger, bitterness, hateful and hurtful words, and just plain being mean, will display a heart that is full of darkness. Once we embrace Christ and completely surrender our life to Him, we want to live for Him, we want to follow His Word, and most of all, we want to follow His example in all things……including speech.
If you struggle in any of these areas, feel free to comment or drop me a line. There is no judgment here. I would like to pray for you and with you!
What did I wear? This outfit was worn a few weeks ago. Sun is rare this time of year in Washington so, I was trying to bring the sunshine out. 🙂
(The Pastor’s Daughter and my friend-Carmen!)
Headband: Garlands of Grace
Sweater: Old Navy for $5!!!
Dress: eShakti– I LOVE how comfortable this is and how you can customize your dresses from there!