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Speech #3—Good Days

If you desire a long life so that you may see more of God’s good works in it, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. Psalm 34:12–13

Dad’s aphorism, “It doesn’t matter so much what you say, but how you say it,” is only partially true. What we say matters. It matters to God. What we say matters so much to God that he factors it into how long he lets us live and how much good we experience. If we speak what is true and profitable so that those we meet grow in their appreciation of God, then he will be pleased to extend our days and cause us to experience his good works in our lives. The threatening opposite of this promise is also true. So if we fear God’s righteous judgment, we will hang on to the promise. For God punishes liars because they stand against his mandate that we represent him in creation as we follow Jesus. Treacherous speech violates Christ’s commands in that it attempts to move people away from God’s perfect design for a just and righteous society. Deceptive and evil speech doesn’t just promote violence; it is violence—both to God and to other humans. So God judges every effort to cause people to fear missing out on what they offer instead of what he offers. But he rewards us greatly when we arrange our words so they cohere with his desire to bring about good in our lives and the lives of those who hear us speak.

Because your truth is forever, O Lord; because your plans will succeed; cause me to speak so others will see reality clearly and walk in the light as you do. Amen.


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