to make an untrue statement or give false
Deceit: the act or
attempt to trick or mislead
Slander: a false,
malicious statement which injures reputation
Gossip: rumor or
idle talk about someone
Quarrel: a verbal
dispute or heated argument
As Christians, the way we communicate with others is
extremely important. Our words can injure others, or
they can heal. They can condemn, or they can be
uplifting. They can be true and righteous, or they
can be deceptive and false. The words we speak are a
reflection of the condition of our faith and our
walk with the Lord.
The Bible is overflowing with advice on how to
effectively with others, and how to avoid hurting
Our words, whether good or bad, flow out of the
our heart.1 That is, our words are indicators of our
maturity.2 Ideally, everything we say should be
the utmost care and consideration—“as if speaking
words of God.”3 After all, the words we say can have
influence on the lives of others, even to the point
of influencing life and death.4 Choose your
because on the day of judgment each of us will have
to give an
account for every careless word we have spoken.5
How to Speak:
Be gentle and don’t shout.6 Raising your voice and
being harsh with another person tends to “stir up
break down communication. People are much more
listen to you if you speak in a quiet voice.7 Also,
much more persuasive if you are patient and speak
“gentle tongue” rather than shouting.8
Control your anger. Show restraint, and don’t let
yourself get out of control.9,10 A hot-tempered man
arguments and quarrels,11,12 and is likely to commit
as a result of his anger.13 If you are wise, you
will try to
remain even-tempered and show restraint when you
When to Speak:
before you speak.15,16 Put a guard over your
mouth and be careful what you say.17,18 Don’t speak
quickly.19 Some-times it is much better to “hold
and listen to the other person before you
don’t have to respond to everything another
When you can see that a topic of conversation is
going to lead
to an argument, learn to drop the matter before a
breaks out.23 Also, be patient and keep things in
it is often wise to overlook an offense.24
Avoid arguments and quarrels. If you love to
you probably love to sin.25 It is exceedingly
difficult to live
with a quarrelsome husband26 or wife.27-29 If at
possible, try to avoid strife in your home.30,31
Stand back and
keep things in perspective; don’t have anything to
foolish or stupid arguments.32 The Lord’s servant
What Not to Say:
Don’t Stoop To The Other Person’s Level: If the
conversation begins to deteriorate and the other
being foolish or childish, be mature and don’t stoop
to his or
Don’t Mock Others: Don’t mock or make fun of
others36,37 or God may mock you; remain humble.38
mock others resent being corrected.39 No one likes a
Don’t Insult Others: If someone insults you, don’t
return the insult.41 Just because you get insulted,
need to “insult back” and hurt the other person as
some occasions, it is more prudent to overlook an
rather than let it upset you.43 [However, this does
that you should allow someone to continually
Swear or Use Filthy Language: Never misuse the
name of the Lord your God.44 Don’t use filthy or
language or tell “dirty jokes.”45,46
unwholesome come out of your mouth.47 If you
to be a religious person but don’t keep a tight rein
tongue, you are deceiving yourself and your
Don’t Lie: God detests people who tell lies, but He
delights in people who are truthful.49 If you love
want to have good things happen to you, then you
what you say and avoid telling lies.50 In addition,
also to avoid “deception,”51,52 which is a less
If you don’t refrain from lying and deception, the
can be severe. Scriptures indicate that God
who tell lies, and He “abhors” deceitful men.53
one who practices lying or deceit [and is
dwell in God’s house or stand in His presence.54
Falsehoods: God pays special attention to lies that
targeted at our neighbors (also called
Ninth Commandment states: “You shall not give false
against your neighbor.”55 This is because, when you
your neighbor, you can cause him or her great
Christians, we should be especially careful about
falsehoods about one another, as we are all members
Some people lie or deceive in order to cheat and
others. Although such actions may bring temporary
cautions us about engaging in dishonest
fortune made through lying can be quickly lost and
such ill-gotten gains can prove to be a deadly snare.60 In
analysis, it is better to be poor than to be a
If you speak falsely about someone in
order to ruin his or her reputation (i.e.,
“defame”), this is
called slander. God specifically commands us not to
others,62 and warns that He will put to “silence”
slanders his neighbor in secret.63 King Solomon
whoever spreads slander is a fool.64
Don’t Gossip: Slander is very closely related to
gossip. When you gossip about someone, you spread
the person “behind his or her back” (that can be
hurtful). Very often, gossip represents a betrayal
something that someone has told another person in
It can be very enticing to listen to another person
gossip.67 However, gossip can prove to be extremely
regard to human relationships. It can break up
and “fuel the fire” of arguments and quarrels.69
are idle (and have too much time on their hands)
and say things they shouldn’t say.70 Avoid godless
Don’t Keep Bringing Up The Past:
If the person you
to has sinned against you, but has genuinely and
repented, you should forgive him/her and stop
bringing up the
past offense.72,73 Love keeps no record of wrongs.74
What to Say:
Be truthful: It pleases God when we are
and when we answer honestly.77
A person who tells
benefit temporarily, but “truthful lips” endure
you tell lies or are deceitful, you should repent
and pray that
God will remove this sin from your heart.79,80
If you are tempted to lie or deceive, you should
the devil is a liar, and the “father of all lies.”81
devil, and he will flee from you.82
Say Nice Things:
Kind and pleasant words can be very powerful,
and can help heal any situation. Choose your
words carefully; they can serve as beautiful gifts—like
gold in settings of silver.”83 They can be “sweet to
and healing to the bones.”84 And they can aid in the
teaching and learning.85
Be Happy, Cheerful, Joyful:
You can set the
tone for good communication. As much as depends on
to be happy,86,87 cheerful,88,89 and joyful.90
Encourage One Another: Encourage each other daily,
each other up.91,92 Spur one another toward love and
deeds.93 Nourish one another94 and let God’s Word
Finally, strive to live a righteous and holy life,
everything that comes out of your mouth reflect the
have in Jesus Christ. The mouth of a righteous man
can be a
“fountain of life.”96 Be peaceable and considerate,
true humility toward all men.97
As much as is possible, strive to live in peace and
with everyone; be sympathetic and compassionate.98
of your situation, conduct yourself in a manner that
of the gospel
of Christ.99 In the end, those who walk uprightly
peace,100 and the righteous will “shine like the
sun” in the
kingdom of heaven.101
The good man brings good things out of the good
stored up in
his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out
of the evil
stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of
his mouth speaks.
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does
keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself
and his religion is worthless.
If anyone speaks, he should do it as one
the very words of God.
(1 Peter 4:11)3
The tongue has the power of life and death.
But I tell you that men will have to give account on
the day of
judgment for every careless word they have spoken.
For by your
words you will be acquitted, and by your words you
A gentle answer turns away wrath,
harsh word stirs up anger.
The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded
than the shouts of a ruler of fools.
Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,
and a gentle tongue can break a bone.
A fool gives full vent to his anger,
but a wise man
keeps himself under control.
Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit,
for anger resides in the lap of fools.
A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension,
patient man calms a quarrel.
For as churning the milk produces butter,
nose produces blood,
so stirring up anger produces
An angry man stirs up dissension,
and a hot-tempered
one commits many sins.
A man of knowledge uses words with restraint,
of understanding is even-tempered.
He who guards his lips guards his life,
but he who
speaks rashly will come to ruin.
The heart of the righteous weighs its answers,
but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.
He who guards his mouth and his tongue
keeps himself from calamity.
Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD;
keep watch over the door of my lips.
Do you see a man who speaks in haste?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
He who answers before listening—that is
his folly and his shame.
When words are many, sin is not absent,
but he who holds his tongue is wise.
Do not pay attention to every word people say.
Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam;
so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.
A man’s wisdom gives him patience;
it is to his glory to overlook an offense.
He who loves a quarrel loves sin.
As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping.
Better to live in a desert
than with a
quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.
A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a
restraining her is like restraining the
or grasping oil with the hand.
It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife.
Better a dry crust with peace and quiet
than a house
full of feasting, with strife.
Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid
because you know they produce quarrels.
(2 Timothy 2:23)32
And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead,
he must be kind to everyone,
able to teach,
(2 Timothy 2:24)33
Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
or you will be like him yourself.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought
I reasoned like a child. When I became a man,
I put childish ways behind me.
(1 Corinthians 13:11)35
Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife;
quarrels and insults are ended.
Again, anyone who says to his brother, “Raca”
is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says,
“You fool!” will be in danger of the fire of hell.
He [God] mocks proud mockers but
gives grace to the humble.
A mocker resents correction; he will not consult the
Men detest a mocker.
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult.
(1 Peter 3:9)41
Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
or you will be like him yourself.
A fool shows his annoyance at once,
but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God,
LORD will not hold anyone guiltless
who misuses his
But now you must rid yourselves of all such things
anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language
Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or
which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
Do not let any
unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,
only what is helpful for building others up
to their needs, that it may benefit
those who listen.
If anyone considers himself religious and yet
does not keep a tight rein
on his tongue, he
deceives himself and his religion is worthless.
The LORD detests lying lips,
but he delights in
men who are truthful.
Whoever of you loves life and desires to see
many good days,
keep your tongue from evil and
from speaking lies. (Psalm
Do not lie. Do not deceive one another.
Keep me from deceitful ways.
You destroy those who tell lies;
and deceitful men the LORD abhors.
No one who practices deceit will dwell in my
no one who speaks falsely will stand in
"You shall not give false testimony against your
Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow is the
man who gives
false testimony against his
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and
to his neighbor, for we are all
members of one body.
For the LORD your God detests anyone who does
these things, anyone who deals dishonestly.
Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man,
he ends up with a mouth full of gravel.
A fortune made by a lying tongue
is a fleeting
vapor and a deadly snare.
Better to be poor than a liar.
"Do not go about spreading slander among your
“I am the LORD.”
Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret,
will I put to silence.
Whoever spreads slander is a fool.
A gossip betrays a confidence,
but a trustworthy
man keeps a secret.
A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man
who talks too much.
The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
they go down to a man’s inmost parts.
A gossip separates close friends.
Without wood a fire goes out;
without gossip a
quarrel dies down.
Besides, they [young widowers] get into the
habit of being idle
and going about from house
to house. And not only do they become idlers,
but also gossips and busybodies,
saying things they ought not to say.
Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge
will become more and more ungodly.
(2 Timothy 2:16)71
Be kind and compassionate to one another,
forgiving each other,
just as in Christ God
Bear with each other and forgive whatever
grievances you may have
against one another.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Love is patient, love is kind…it keeps no record
(1 Corinthians 13: 4-5)74
O LORD, do not your eyes look for truth?
Surely you desire truth in the inner parts;
teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.
Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue
lasts only a moment.
Keep falsehood and lies far from me.
Keep me from deceitful ways.
When he [the devil] lies, he speaks his native
for he is a liar and the father of
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in
settings of silver
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the
soul and healing to the bones.
Pleasant words promote instruction.
I know that there is nothing better for men than
to be happy
and do good while they live.
But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before
may they be happy and joyful. (Psalm
The cheerful heart has a continual feast.
A cheerful heart is good medicine.
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks
in all circumstances,
for this is God's
will for you in Christ Jesus.
But encourage one another daily, as long as it
is called Today,
so that none of you may be
hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
Therefore encourage one another and build each
just as in fact you are doing.
And let us consider how we may spur one another
toward love and good deeds.
The lips of the righteous nourish many.
I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might
not sin against you.
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of
Remind the people…to slander no one,
peaceable and considerate,
and show true
humility toward all men.
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one
be sympathetic, love as brothers,
compassionate and humble.
(1 Peter 3:8)98
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner
worthy of the gospel of Christ.
Those who walk uprightly enter into peace.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun in
the kingdom of their Father.
He who has ears,
let him hear.