When Jehovah created us, he gave us a wonderful gift—the ability to speak. Does he care about the way we use that gift? He certainly does! (Read James 1:26.) So how can we use our ability to speak in a way that will please Jehovah?
1. How should we use the gift of speech?
The Bible tells us to “keep encouraging one another and building one another up.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11) Can you think of some who need encouragement? What can you do to make them feel better? Assure them that you care about them. Perhaps you can tell them what you appreciate about them. Can you think of a scripture that would encourage someone you know? There are many from which you can choose. Remember, too, that the way you say something can affect others just as deeply as the words you use. So always try to speak kindly and mildly.—Proverbs 15:1.
2. What type of speech must we avoid?
The Bible says: “Let a rotten word not come out of your mouth.” (Read Ephesians 4:29.) This means that we do not use foul language or make cruel and offensive remarks that are meant to hurt someone’s feelings. We must also avoid harmful gossip and slander.—Read Proverbs 16:28.
3. What will help us to speak in an upbuilding way?
Often the things we talk about reveal what is really in our heart or weighing on our mind. (Luke 6:45) So we need to train ourselves to focus on positive things—things that are righteous, chaste, lovable, and praiseworthy. (Philippians 4:8) To focus on these things, we must choose our entertainment and friends wisely. (Proverbs 13:20) It also helps to take the time to think before we speak. Consider how your words will affect others. The Bible says: “Thoughtless speech is like the stabs of a sword, but the tongue of the wise is a healing.”—Proverbs 12:18.
Learn how to speak in a way that pleases Jehovah and encourages others.
4. Control your speech
Which of these qualities could you pray for to help you control your speech? How might these qualities help you?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:33, and then discuss this question:
What effect might your choice of friends and entertainment have on the language you use?
When might it be wise to keep silent or to wait for a better time to say something?
5. Speak positively of others
In the video, why did this brother want to change the way he spoke about others?
What did he do to change?
Read Ecclesiastes 7:16, and then discuss this question:
What should we remember when we are tempted to speak negatively about someone?
Read Ecclesiastes 7:21, 22, and then discuss this question:
How can these verses help you to keep from overreacting when someone speaks negatively about you?
6. Be kind when you speak to your family
What will help you to speak kindly to your family?
Read Ephesians 4:31, 32, and then discuss this question:
What kind of speech builds up a family?
Jehovah expressed how he felt about his Son, Jesus. Read Matthew 17:5, and then discuss this question:
How can you imitate Jehovah in the way you communicate with your family?
SOME PEOPLE SAY: “I speak my mind. It’s not my problem if others don’t like what I say.”
Do you agree? Why, or why not?
Words have power. We need to think carefully about what we say, when we say it, and how we say it.
What are some ways that you can use speech to help others?
What kind of speech do you want to avoid?
What can help us always to be kind and upbuilding in our speech?