Cultivate the Ability to Speak
1 In carrying out Jesus’ command to preach and teach, to make disciples and to baptize them, it was clearly evident to the early Christians that they must speak to others about God’s Word. They learned to be outspoken, as it were, for the truth. Of the Jews who heard Peter and John speak, the record at Acts 4:13 says: “Now when they beheld the outspokenness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were men unlettered and ordinary, they got to wondering.”
2 Yes, for good reason the Jews wondered at how those common men, former fishermen, became so very forceful and bold in their public speaking. And so the record (Acts 4:13) says: “And they began to recognize about them that they used to be with Jesus.” Peter and John had studied the Scriptures; they were Bible students. They learned from Jesus, their Teacher, and they cultivated the ability to speak, appreciating that they must do this in order to carry out Jesus’ commands. Thus, with the further help of God’s holy spirit, they were used to spearhead the public-speaking and preaching activity of the early Christian congregation.—Acts chapters 2 to 5.
DO YOU PRAY FOR IT?
3 Christians today must likewise be bold and outspoken in spreading the message of truth. Do you pray for outspokenness as did the early Christians? (Acts 4:29) The record shows that Jehovah answered their prayer.—Acts 4:31.
4 The apostle Paul was an excellent example of one who cultivated the ability to speak. When at Ephesus on his third missionary tour, Paul “spoke with boldness for three months, giving talks and using persuasion concerning the kingdom of God.” (Acts 19:8) It should be noted that Paul was not just relying on any natural ability he had, for he later wrote to the Ephesian congregation: “Carry on prayer . . . that ability to speak may be given me.” (Eph. 6:18-20) Do you pray on behalf of yourself and fellow Christians for the ability to speak, as did Paul and the other early Christians?
DO YOU WORK FOR IT?
5 All of us, young or old, male or female, need to cultivate the ability to speak the truth well. This requires work. Do you work to cultivate speaking ability? Paul counseled Timothy: “Do your utmost to present yourself approved to God, a workman with nothing to be ashamed of, handling the word of the truth aright.” (2 Tim. 2:15) We, too, must do our utmost to cultivate speaking ability and thus have nothing of which to be ashamed. Do we let objections stop us, or can we sometimes use them as a springboard to further discussion and enlarge on our Scriptural hope?
6 How do we work for ability to speak? One way would be by preparing well all assignments we have in the Theocratic School. We should all seek to apply points of counsel given and to improve our speaking ability with each talk we give. The same would also be true of brothers who have assignments in the service meetings or who deliver public Bible talks or read at the Watchtower study. The more we speak, the better we can do it. As we go from house to house we must all try to speak well and to speak boldly. More success will be realized if we prepare ahead of time so that we know well the topic for conversation we plan to use.
7 It is good to remember that bold speech does not mean rude speech. We are wise to use tact and discernment, which things are included in cultivating the ability to speak. (Col. 4:6) Surely Jehovah will bless our work and answer our prayers so that we might cultivate the ability to speak the Word with boldness.