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The Ministry of Holding Your Tongue

If ya can't say somethin' nice...

Letyour speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. Colossians 4.6

Life Together
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)
“Often we combat our evil thoughts most effectively if we absolutely refuse to allow them to be expressed in words. It is certain that the spirit of self-justification can be overcome only by the Spirit of grace; nevertheless, isolated thoughts of judgment can be curbed and smothered by never allowing them the right to be uttered, except as a confession of sin…”

Over the years, I have said many things I wish I could take back. A fly spoils the ointment, and an unfit word can undo all your efforts to season your speech with grace. We’d love to have the opportunity for a redo on those ungracious words. Of course, we can’t, and the hurt inflicted can only with difficulty be overcome. It’s odd to think that we might minister to people in some cases by saying nothing, but I think Bonhoeffer has it right. This is especially true if we can learn to talk less about ourselves and work harder at listening to others. If we worked as hard at listening as we are sometimes careless at speaking, we might prove to be better channels of grace in all our conversations.

Why do you think people talk about themselves so much? What can you do to keep your tongue from becoming a source of pain rather than an implement of grace?

Seasoned with Grace?

Our ReVision study, Seasoned with Grace, can be an excellent tool for working with leaders and others to improve our ability to use our speech in edifying ways. Seven brief lessons, including questions for reflection or discussion, and it’s available free by clicking here.

Praying for Revival
During the third week of each month, pastors and lay leaders join as men together in the Lord to seek Him for revival. Here’s a way you can experience the unity of life together in the Body of Christ, with pastors from other churches and places, as you join to seek the Lord in prayer. If you would like to join one of our online Revival Prayer Groups, send me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and we’ll make it happen for you.

We rejoice in the goodness of our heavenly Father, Who provides the support our ministry requires through the generous and faithful gifts of those who benefit from and believe in our work. Does the Lord want to use you in this way? Please look to Him in prayer over this question. You can contribute to The Fellowship of Ailbe by using the Contribute button at our website, or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Thank you.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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