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“It is not that talking is evil or that it necessarily cheapens the truth. After all, if God himself communicates and does so in human terms, in the life and speech of Jesus, in the witness of Scripture, there must be talking that is wonderful, revelatory, transfiguring, that takes us into the heart of things. When we have found the word or phrase that anchors us in prayer, the mantra that stills and focuses us, we are discovering something of the grace and power of real language which attunes us to God’s communication in a relation that is somehow both speaking and silence. It is simply that for most of the time we do not take language seriously enough. We haven’t understood Jesus’ warning that we shall be called to account for every word we waste (Matthew 12:36) – which presumably means every word that does not in some way contribute to the building up of myself and my neighbor as persons maturing in the life of grace.” (Archbishop Rowan Williams)

“Though St. James (James 3:5-6) saw the tongue as being a dangerously incendiary device, he did not foresee modern technology turning the fingers into even worse causes of combustion. It reminds us as to why we cannot just read the scripture literally, for there are many ways today for humans to start destructive conflagrations with their words that literally don’t involve the tongue. St James’s warning about the tongue equally applies to any of the many ways humans can cause ruin through their words…That is what Christians need to consider when they engage in any kind of communication whether verbal or through social media: what builds up community and the Church? We will give account to God for every word we utter, type, text, tweet. We may think we are clever in sending out incendiary messages, but they also stoke the hell fires we may find ourselves in after Judgment Day.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“My words can be prideful or humble, judgmental or forgiving. They can be either like the words of the Pharisee or like the words of the publican (see Luke 18:9–14). Ultimately, I will be responsible to God for all words I have uttered. Jesus Christ warned, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matt. 12:36–37).” (Archpriest Steven John Belonick)

“The devil tries to hurt us in every way, but especially through our tongues and mouths. He finds no instrument so suitable for deceiving and destroying us as an undisciplined tongue and a mouth that is never closed. From these sources come many disasters and grievous accusations against us. An inspired writer has made it clear how easy it is to sin by the tongue when he said: Many have fallen by the sword, but not so many as have perished by the tongue (Wisdom of Sirach 28:18).” (St John Chrysostom)

“Determining what is profitable to say and when it is profitable to speak requires spiritual discernment, which is a gift of the Spirit. This is not a quality that can be acquired by study, nor can it be acquired quickly.” (Dr. Eugenia Scarvelis Constantinou)

“To be truly wise requires close attention to what we say and do as the Lord Jesus taught during the years before He dispatched the Apostles: “be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Mt 10:16). Saint Paul emphasizes the same: “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Col 4:6). Of late, the world is showing its distaste for the life, joy and hope in the wisdom of Christ. Learning to speak “with grace, seasoned with salt” must be done deliberately but simply. The Apostle reviews how “seasoned grace” will sound: stripped of “anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of [our] mouth” (Col 3:8), and surely, without any lying or cloaking (Col 3:9).” (Dynamis 10/1/2021)

“Your words are unequal: some vivify, and others slay your soul, or, perhaps, that of your neighbor. Therefore, it is said: “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt” [Colossians 4:6]. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” [Ephesians 6:29].” (St. John Kronstadt)

“…we should monitor our speech as best we can, and it is better to keep our mouths shut when we have an evil thought about someone than to share it with them or others. More fundamentally, our wicked words are symptoms of the sickness of our souls. In order to gain the spiritual integrity to speak only in ways that glorify God and bless others, the light of Christ must fill our hearts. We must become transfigured with the gracious divine energies if we are to speak in a way that manifests the holiness of God.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“The work of believers is illumined, because they’re in the light and know what they’re doing. Everything has its place. Everything is in the right order and in a proper relationship to everything else….Believers work hard productively. They’re aware of who they are…Their speech is ‘well-seasoned’, that is, full of wisdom and grace.” (Archimandrite Ioïl Yiannakopoulos)

“Of all God’s creatures, human beings alone have the gift of speech. Although it is an ultimate gift, speech also can pose an ultimate danger. Words can heal, but they can also kill; words can inspire, but they can also poison…My words can be prideful or humble, judgmental or forgiving. They can be either like the words of the Pharisee or like the words of the publican (see Luke 18:9–14). Ultimately, I will be responsible to God for all words I have uttered. Jesus Christ warned, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matt. 12:36–37).” (Archpriest Steven John Belonick)

‘Do not speak evil of one another’ (James 4:11). Belittling criticism of others is another case of pride coming out in what we say. It is a lack of faith united with evil works, an offense both to the person criticized and to God. God's will is to love others (James 2:8) with humility and mercy, even if they are in the wrong…” (Orthodox Study Bible, James 4:11-12)

“Every wicked act dulls the sense of our thoughts and gives birth to arrogance. For although it is necessary for each one to examine himself and behave according to God’s will, many people do not do this but prefer to mind the business of others…they forget their own weaknesses and set about criticizing them and slandering them. They condemn them, not knowing that they suffer from the same things as the people they have criticized, and in so doing they condemn themselves. The wise Paul writes exactly the same thing [in Rm 2:1]: “If you judge another in something, you condemn yourself, for the one who judges does the same things.” (St. Cyril of Alexandria)

“Not only is it impossible for sweet and bitter water to come out of one and the same fountain, but it is also true that if the two get mixed, it is the bitter which will affect the sweet, not the other way round. Put blessing and cursing together, and cursing will win out every time. Bad habits corrupt good manners, and wicked talk has the same effect.” (St. Bede)

“Keep yourself from much talk, for it is this that extinguishes the noetic movements produced in our heart by God…Language is the gift of God, uniquely human. Within it is borne a power to reveal, indeed a power that is deeply related to the act of creation itself. In Genesis, God creates with speech. It is the means by which we pray, the primary means of communion with others. Words are physical objects, passing from our mouths to the ears of others. We touch each other with words. Speech has been made worthy to serve as a sacrifice before God.” (St. Isaac the Syrian, Father Stephen Freeman)

“…if we peruse the record of the evangelist [Luke], we discover that few who experience His love have much to say. The liberated demoniac remains silent…Simon Peter’s mother-in-law simply arises and serves Him…Peter merely blurts out, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord”…Matthew follows Him without a word…Even the widow who receives her son from the dead does not speak!... The love of God often renders us speechless, even as He empowers us.” (Dynamis 10/12/2020)

“Nothing is more unsettling than talkativeness and more pernicious than an unbridled tongue…If we remembered that it is written, “By your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned,” we would choose to remain silent.” (Saint Philotheos of Sinai, St. Poemen the Great)

“A Christian must be courteous to all. His words and deeds should breath with the grace of the Holy Spirit, which abides in his soul, so that in this way he might glorify the name of God. He who regulates all of his speech also regulates all of his actions. He who keeps watch over the words he is about to say also keeps watch over the deeds he intends to do, and he never goes out of the bounds of good and benevolent conduct…And let us not make the mistake of thinking that constantly speaking of spiritual or theological matters always justifies this passion of talkativeness. For incessantly speaking of such matters while not acting upon them is of little benefit to us." (St. Nectarios of Aegina, Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

“He who refrains from uttering a harsh word is intelligent, because this restraint shows he possesses the general virtues of Wisdom and thus has his tongue under control. He also has long-suffering, a fruit of discernment, one of the general virtues.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Proverbs 17:29)

“Often it is not so much what we say but the way we say it that prompts such varied responses as acceptance and anger…Words can have either life-giving or death-producing results.” (Foundation Study Bible, Proverbs 15:1)

“There is judgment in life, for sooner or later what we say and do comes home to roost. And there is judgment in death. As the Lord Jesus puts it, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment” (Mt 12:36). When we meet that final wall and this life ends, we shall answer to God.” (Dynamis 7/29/2019)

“Our first task in the process of salvation is “speaking the truth in love” (Eph 4:15). There are many ways to speak the truth: bluntly, with detachment, cruelly, haughtily, with love arising from our personal experience and thanksgiving. We may take any one of these approaches, all the while using nice manners and socially approved words. However, none of these models is the one that the Apostle Paul commends to us. Only the Lord Jesus Christ speaks the truth perfectly, with full personal involvement and true concern for others’ illumination and well-being…Saint Paul calls us to embrace the manner of loving and truthful speech exemplified by the Lord Jesus. The more Christ dwells in our hearts, the more we will find ourselves able to speak to others with the Lord’s lifegiving love – and the more He will speak through us.”(Dynamis 9/20/2018)

“He [Christ] is the reason these words are vital and powerful. Using words without the Word is vain.” (Orthodox Study Bible, 1 Timothy 4:5-6)

“Christ commands us to be not only honest and well- meaning, but simple and straight-talking, not allowing our tongues to utter empty words or promises that may be broken by unforeseen events or due to our limited knowledge...(Matthew 5:34-37)” (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

“…our call to speak the truth in love to one another is gospel-oriented.” (Tony Reinke)

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