October 6, 2013 – October 12, 2013
“The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.” Proverbs 10:20.
Study Help: Child Guidance, 481, 482; Fundamentals of Christian Education, 242–244.
“The chief requisite of language is that it be pure and kind and true—‘the outward expression of an inward grace.’ ” Education, 235.
1 A LIFE OR DEATH ISSUE
- Why should education of the tongue be one of the most important branches of study? Proverbs 18:21; James 3:2–8.
Note: “One of the finest and most elevating branches of education is that of knowing how to address members of the household, that the influence of the words spoken will be pure and incorruptible. The proper conversation of a Christian is that which will enable him to interchange ideas. Loud-voiced words, that help and bless no one, might better be changed for words of good, elevated, enlightened common sense. This line of work is the greatest missionary enterprise in which any Christian can engage. Those who use the organs of speech as the living machinery of God, become living stones in His temple, emitting light and knowledge.” The Voice in Speech and Song, 34.
- Of the seven evils that God especially hates, how many are related to the tongue? Proverbs 6:16–19.
Note: “Haphazard words, hasty, common words, talking for the sake of talking, when silence would be better, is a sin. Those who are the most wordy exercise no wholesome influence upon the society in which they live and move. Bible religion is not to be boastfully paraded, but quietly practiced in good words and works.” The Voice in Speech and Song, 31.
2 PREPARATION FOR SPEECH EDUCATION
- Where is the best training ground for proper habits of speech, and why? Deuteronomy 11:18, 19.
Note: “It is the work of parents to train their children to proper habits of speech. The very best school for this culture is the home life. From the earliest years the children should be taught to speak respectfully and lovingly to their parents and to one another. They should be taught that only words of gentleness, truth, and purity must pass their lips.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 337, 338.
- What twofold method is to be used by parents in teaching their children good speech habits? Philippians 2:14, 15; Titus 2:7, 8.
Note: “Let the parents themselves be daily learners in the school of Christ. Then by precept and example they can teach their children the use of ‘sound speech, that cannot be condemned’ (Titus 2:8). This is one of the greatest and most responsible of their duties.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 338.
“Fathers and mothers, you have a solemn work to do. The eternal salvation of your children depends upon your course of action. How will you successfully educate your children? Not by scolding, for it will do no good. Talk to your children as if you had confidence in their intelligence. Deal with them kindly, tenderly, lovingly. Tell them what God would have them do. Tell them that God would have them educated and trained to be laborers together with Him. When you act your part, you can trust the Lord to act His part.” The Review and Herald, February 17, 1910.
- What is the basic textbook for speech training? John 5:39.
Note: “Our education in regard to the science of conversation will be in every way improved if we make the word of God our study.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, 360.
3 CHURCH TROUBLES
- How does unsanctified speech affect the church, and how should it be handled? Proverbs 16:27, 28; 17:20; 22:10.
Note: “The hasty, reckless use of the faculty of speech lies at the foundation of nearly all the church troubles that exist. Evil-speaking should be dealt with as a misdemeanor that is subject to church trial and separation from church membership if persisted in; for the church cannot be set in order in any other way.” The Voice in Speech and Song, 31.
“Words of suspicion and distrust, like the thistle-down carried by the wind, are scattered far and wide, and can never be recalled. Un-Christlike speech lies at the foundation of nine tenths of all the difficulties that exist in the church. Satan’s agents are industriously trying to get professed Christians to speak unadvisedly. When they succeed, Satan exults, because God’s followers have hurt their influence. We have no time, in these solemn moments, to contend with one another. Those who give way to evil-thinking and evil-speaking do not realize how much time they cause others to lose. God’s servants have been called upon to settle difficulties between brother and brother, and time has been spent in this way that belonged to souls ready to perish—time that ought to have been devoted to the fulfilling of the gospel commission.” The Review and Herald, November 24, 1904.
“If they [the professed followers of Christ] could see the mischief wrought by their careless words, the repetition of vague reports, the unjust censures, there would be far less talking and more praying when Christians assemble together.” Ibid., October 19, 1886.
- What type of speech should be utilized by parents and teachers in proper education? Ephesians 4:22–25.
Note: “The teacher whose soul is stayed upon Christ will speak and act like a Christian. Such a one will not be satisfied until the truth cleanses his life from every unessential thing. He will not be satisfied unless his mind is day by day molded by the holy influences of the Spirit of God. Then Christ can speak to the heart, and His voice, saying, ‘This is the way; walk ye in it’ (Isaiah 30:21), will be heard and obeyed.” The Review and Herald, September 3, 1908.
4 THE TEACHER’S SPEECH
- How can Christlike teachers influence all their students who have not had proper home training? Proverbs 25:15.
Note: “Show sympathy and tenderness in dealing with your pupils. Reveal the love of God. Let the words you speak be kind and encouraging. Then as you work for your students, what a transformation will be wrought in the characters of those who have not been properly trained in the home! The Lord can make even youthful teachers channels for the revealing of His grace, if they will consecrate themselves to Him.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 152.
- How can parents and teachers deal with strong-willed children and youth? Proverbs 3:12.
Note: “Let the teacher bring peace and love and cheerfulness into his work. Let him not allow himself to become angry or provoked. The Lord is looking upon him with intense interest, to see if he is being molded by the divine Teacher. The child who loses his self-control is far more excusable than the teacher who allows himself to become angry and impatient. When a stern reproof is to be given, it may still be given in kindness. Let the teacher beware of making the child stubborn by speaking to him harshly. Let him follow every correction with drops of the oil of kindness. He should never forget that he is dealing with Christ in the person of one of Christ’s little ones.
“Let it be a settled maxim that in all school discipline, faithfulness and love are to reign. When a student is corrected in such a way that he is not made to feel that the teacher desires to humiliate him, love for the teacher springs up in his heart.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 212.
- What will be the result of using Christ’s method in speech training? Ephesians 4:32.
5 THE STUDENTS’ SPEECH
- How can young people reeducate their tongues for usefulness and glory to God? Proverbs 9:9, 10; 15:28, first part; Job 27:3, 4.
Note: “The workman for God should make earnest efforts to become a representative of Christ, discarding all uncomely gestures and uncouth speech. He should endeavor to use correct language. There is a large class who are careless in the way they speak, yet by careful, painstaking attention these may become representatives of the truth. Every day they should make advancement. They should not detract from their usefulness and influence by cherishing defects of manner, tone, or language. Common, cheap expressions should be replaced by sound, pure words.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 238.
- What will be the result as young students make a decided change in their thinking, speaking, and acting? Philippians 4:8; Proverbs 17:27, 28.
Note: “The talent of speech is a very precious talent, and should in no case be perverted. The tongue is an unruly member, but it should not be so. That member which is improperly used in profane speech should be converted to utter praise to God. If all the students would make decided efforts to change their mode of thinking, of speaking, and of acting, in the family circle restraining all words that are not kind and courteous, and speaking with respect to all; if they would bear in mind that they are here preparing to become members of the family in heaven, what a reformatory influence would go forth from every home!” The Voice in Speech and Song, 46, 47.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 How can we make our conversation more Christlike?
2 How can we instill in our children the habit of sanctified speech?
3 What is the relationship between speech and church problems?
4 What should characterize the speech of a consecrated teacher?
5 How can the youth develop mental discipline?
Copyright © 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.