Ellen G. White Writings

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The Youth’s Instructor

June 27, 1895

Let your Speech Be Alway with Grace

“He that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile : let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”

How is it that many who profess the name of Christ utter so many vain, idle words? Satan watches to obtain an advantage over those who speak in a reckless manner. Those who jest and joke and indulge in cheap conversation place themselves upon a level where Satan can gain access to them. He is playing the game of life for their souls. Can we wonder that the word of God cautions us, and warns us against sinning with our tongues?

We are to feed upon Christ, the living bread from heaven. Our souls are to thirst for the waters of salvation, and we are to study the Scriptures, and practice the truths they teach in our daily life. Those who do this will reveal the fact that they are feasting upon the bread of life, eating the flesh of the Son of God, and drinking daily of the waters of salvation. If we closely study the words of Christ, and take heed to his lessons, we shall feed upon his flesh; for the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us. Christ says: “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” When we utter meaningless and silly words, we encourage others to indulge in the same kind of conversation; but it is a great sin in the sight of God to allow ourselves to utter words that do not suggest pure, choice thoughts which will elevate, ennoble, and sanctify our characters and the characters of those who hear. The only words that come from our lips should be pure, clean words. No one can tell how much sin is created by careless, foolish, unmeaning words. The character of those who utter these senseless words is indexed by them. Sensible people are ashamed to listen to such words, and disgusted that their precious time should be wasted in listening to frivolous utterances.

O that every one of our youth would realize the evil of foolish conversation, and correct the habit of speaking idle words! Let every one who has indulged in this sin repent of it, confess it before God, and put it far from him. In speaking foolish words, you have dishonored the name of Christ; for you have misrepresented him in character. No word of guile was found in his lips, no word of prevarication or falsehood. The people that are described as making up the one hundred and forty-four thousand, have the Father's name written in their foreheads, and of them it is said: “In their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” If they had been speaking foolish, senseless, false words, they would not have been found without guile, and without fault before the throne of God. John also wrote, saying: “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshiped God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever, Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”

O that all our youth would form characters after the divine similitude! O that Christ may be in you a well of water springing up unto everlasting life. Begin at once the work of soul-purification. Put from you all nonsense, and refrain from trifling words. Every word you speak is as a seed that will germinate and produce either good or bad fruit, according to its character. The words we utter encourage the feelings that prompted them. Exaggeration is a terrible sin. Passionate words sow seeds that produce a bad crop which no one will care to garner. Our own words have an effect upon our character, but they act still more powerfully upon the characters of others. The Infinite God alone can measure the mischief that is done by careless words. These words fall from our lips, and we do not perhaps mean any harm; yet they are the index of our inward thoughts, and work on the side of evil. What unhappiness has been produced by the speaking of thoughtless, unkind words in the family circle! Harsh words rankle in the mind, it may be for years, and never lose their sting. As professed Christians, we should consider the influence our words have upon those with whom we come into association, whether they are believers or unbelievers. Our words are watched, and mischief is done by thoughtless utterances. No after association with believers or unbelievers will wholly counteract the unfavorable influence of thoughtless, foolish words. Our words evidence the manner of food upon which the soul feeds.

Mrs. E. G. White

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