“Freedom of Speech”
We are all aware of our First Amendment rights as American Citizens. Specifically, we love and enjoy our right to “Free Speech.” We all love to share freely about our opinions, ideas, concerns, loves, interests, stories, politics and religion. Many times when we share through our speech there is NO filter from what we think to what we say. A lack of a filter can be a major turn off for others. When people hear inconsistencies in our speech with the religion we express they begin to doubt our motives, intentions, and love for God, His Son Jesus, and the church for which He died.
God has placed filters on our speech. In reality, as Christians, we do not have freedom of speech. We are not at liberty to say everything we think, hear, or read. We have restrictions in place by God to protect others for the greater good and to elevate His Kingdom and to shine a bright light that brings about a positive response from others toward Him. God says…
1. Psalm 34:13-14, “Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.”
2. 1 Peter 3:10-11, “For "He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it.”
3. Psalm 39:1, “I said, "I will guard my ways, Lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, While the wicked are before me."
4. Proverbs 21:23, “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles.”
5. Proverbs 25:23, “The north wind brings forth rain, And a backbiting tongue an angry countenance.”
6. James 1:19-20, “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
7. Colossians 4:5-6, “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”
As you can tell God wants us to be FREE from speaking like everyone around us. He desires for us to use the filter of His word and the Love of His Son in our speech and to be different. Jesus would have us to remember that, “...For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34). We must also remember that our speech can betray us as it did with Peter (Matthew 26:73).
Let’s be careful! “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:8-9).