The first part is found here: https://memoirandremains.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/how-must-we-govern-our-tongues-part-1/
The second part is found here: https://memoirandremains.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/how-we-must-govern-our-tongues-part-2/
PART TWO: RULES, CAUTIONS, INSTRUCTION:
RULES FOR GOVERNING THE TONGUE:
1. Don’t be ignorant. One reason too much or too little is that you fail to understand:
a. You must understand your circumstance.
b. You must understand yourself.
c. You must understand those who will hear you.
d. You must understand the subject. – Make the effort to learn and understand
2. Don’t be a slacker. The man who spends his time in fruitless idleness will run his mouth. If you keep busy at your responsibilities, you will have little time for sinful speech.
3. Don’t be a drunk – drunks say stupid things. West quotes the proverbs, “All will out when wine is in.”
4. Watch against all passionateness: when your heart is filled with passion, your mouth will be filled with thoughtless words.
5. Don’t be proud: Pride makes you believe that everyone wants to hear your folly, “If we think we have all the wit, we shall next arrogate to ourselves all the talk; and by thinking ourselves wise make ourselves fools.”
6. Keep your heart tuned with love, for love will guard you against foolish speech.
THAT WHICH MAKES SPEECH SINFUL
1. Speech which dishonors God must not be uttered. Such speech may be actually blasphemy, but it also may be nonsense speech which trivializes God.
2. Speech which injures another human being must not be uttered. The measure is simple, we must be as careful of the life, the property, the reputation, the good of another as we are of ourselves.
3. Speech which defiles another’s conscience or heart must not be uttered: we should not cause another to blush or be stirred to sin.
4. We must avoid the forms which speech which break down civil society:
a. Lying: few sins can so destroy relationship as lying. Rev. 21:8; 22:15.
b. Tale-bearing: Lev. 19:16; Prov. 18:8
c. Revealing secrets: this destroys the basis for being able to communicate freely with another. Not every fact should communicated to every person.
5. Speech which merely wastes time. Matt. 12:36-37
HOW TO TRAIN THE HEART FOR FITTING SPEECH
Proverbs 4:26 warns us to guard the heart: We must guard what goes out and what comes into the heart. Our heart will give content to our speech, therefore, we must protect the tongue by protecting the heart.
1. Sin springs from the heart (Matt. 12:34). Therefore, we must lay the axe to root, not merely the fruit, of the tree. I once had a tree which could no longer bear good fruit. I never killed the tree by plucking the miserable fruit – It was not killed until I cut it down and destroyed the roots. Likewise we must destroy the roots of malice, anger and wrath if we are to end speech which destroys (Col. 3:8-9; Ephesians 4:31). Be careful of the stirrings of sin in the heart – when you see the storm approaching, take caution.
2. Avoid at all costs those things which would stir evil passions in the heart. “If they [evil passions] be fermented afresh, they will flow anew….If we would keep a fire from smoking, we must keep it from burning.” If we do not stop what goes into the heart, we cannot stop what comes out of the mouth. West’s warning must sound particularly strange at our distance and our culture, “And lastly, beware of vain and filthy sights; and the more artificial, the more dangerous, as more affecting the fancy [imagination], sinking deeper into the memory, and pressing more importunately into the mouth, they tickle us into talk of them.”
3. Know and meditate upon the laws which should govern our speech. We will only live occurring to that which is part of our thought – therefore, we must not only prevent the evil but encourage the good to come into our hearts.
4. Think of how ugly, how odious such speech is in others – then realize it is so with ourselves.
5. Remember the damage which has come to you from our your prior acts of sinful speech.
6. Remember that knows and will judge your speech.
MATTERS WHICH ARE DUTIES OF DISCOURSE
1. We should discuss things which are matters of importance to ourselves and to our friends and family. Discussion of matters of how to do good to others, how to give glory to God, how to show love and do justice – these are matters which should be in our speech. CAUTION: Don’t use this rule as a pretense. Sometimes a request for prayer can become an opportunity for gossip. Sometimes our “concern” for another’s well-being can become being a busy-body.
2. We should discourse more concerning the wonderful works of God.
3. We should be ready and able to give profitable counsel to others.
Question: How will be prepared to do such work?
1. Store your heart with profitable matter for such speech.
2. Affect your heart with such knowledge – knowledge which is dull to us will dull to others.
3. Realize that such discourse will not always be happily received – prepare for such discouragements.
4. Look for the best time to offer such speech.
5. Consider the person with whom you speak: Make sure your speech is measured for the occasion and person, suitable, sweet, sound.
a. Speak with modesty, kindness and respect, clarity (plainness – a favorite Puritan word).
b. What to avoid: showing off, trying to sound smart, talking down to others – any sort of superiority over other human beings. Any sort of extravagance of speech must be avoided as sinful vanity. Avoiding unnecessary offense: if there is offense, make the offense of Christ and not of ourselves. Labor to have a life which comports with our profession. Avoid occasions which will merely lead to slander or mockery.
6. Make such speech nature for you, your condition and life.
Question: What motives do we have to speak in such a way?
1. One’s speech should match his native country. The speech commanded of the Christian is the speech of his native land. In Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian and Faithful were found out at Vanity Fair by the nature of their speech, for they spoke as those foreign to the fair but native to Canaan.
2. There is no speech more profitable. 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
3. No speech is more pleasant. Eccl. 7:5
4. By neglecting holy discourse, you may lose the chance to do good to others and to yourself.
Final Cautions: When does good speech turn bad?
1. Fair speech may be foul, when the elegance and fittingness be a cover for wicked ends.
2. Good speech is evil if meant for evil ends.
Contra: What some may think evil may be put to a good use depending upon the circumstance: Thus, speech which one may normally reject – such as complaining speech may be entertained if can be turned to proper ends. Sometimes we must tolerate speech by bad men for the opportunity of doing them good.
Two final cautions:
1. We can’t think well of our speech, if our intent be wrong.
2. We should not look down on the manner of another’s speech due to culture or education or circumstance. It is base pride to mock another’s forms of speech if the end be good and the substance right.