TWO “TELLS”, NOT
Will Durant observed, “Talk is cheap because the supply always
exceeds the demand.” It is estimated that the average person
spends one-fifth of his or her life talking. That would equal a
fifty-page book per day if all our words were put in print!
The Bible has much to
say about exercising discretion when it comes to speech. The
book of Proverbs is an inspired resource ripe with reason.
Wisdom is the theme of the book, with the writer declaring it
“the principal thing” (4:7). One’s mouth may be either “a well
of life” or “near destruction” (10:11, 14). A serious warning is
given in 10:19 - “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking,
but he who restrains his lips is wise” (NKJV).
The New Testament
continues this emphasis. Jesus reminds us that we will “give
account” of “every idle word” and that our words will either
justify or condemn us (Matthew 12:36-37). Paul urges all to use
gracious speech: “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned
with salt…” (Colossians 4:6; cf. 3:8-9; Ephesians 4:29-32).
While we are to
exercise great care in communication, we must not be cowered
into complete silence. Some one has said that all that is needed
for evil to prevail is for good people to remain silent. Our
caring concern for the souls of men should prompt us to tell
people the good news of Jesus Christ.
Two important “tells”
are involved in spreading the gospel. First, we must “tell” what
God has done in giving His Son that we might be saved from the
guilt and condemnation of sin (See John 3:16; Romans 5:8-9.). An
understanding of the goodness of God will bring honest persons
out of sin (Romans 2:4). Second, we must “tell” what man must do
to be saved. The New Testament - especially the book of Acts -
reveals the necessity of preaching the gospel to produce faith
in God and Christ (Romans 10:17); which leads one to repent of
all sin (Luke 13:3, 5); which leads to confession of Jesus as
God’s Son (Romans 10:9-10); which leads to baptism into Christ
for remission of sins (Acts 8:26-39, verses 36-38 in
particular); which leads to a continued life of faithfulness to
the One who died for us (1 Corinthians 15:58).
In the words of a
beloved hymn: “If the name of the Savior is precious to you…,
will you not tell it today?”
Edward L Anderson