One Torah For All

One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
Exodus 12:49

Lashon Qodesh
Set-apart Speech

Ephesians 4:29
Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for edifying as the need may be, that it may give grace to them that hear and obey.

In these days of restoration there is a lot of discussion and many teachings about lashon hara or evil speech; as well as there should be considering that this is one of Scripture’s most frequently broken commandments today. However, perhaps part of the problem is not the lack of teaching admonishing His people not to commit this sin, but rather the lack of teaching admonishing His people what is actually expected from them according to Scripture, or what lashon qodesh or set-apart speech looks like. In this teaching we will attempt to do this very thing, to teach His people what good speech looks like and how we should conduct ourselves in this area. As we go through this teaching we will just naturally hit upon lashon hara throughout this teaching as there are places where these two opposites are contrasted in Scripture. Sometimes it is also helpful to look at what should not be in order to understand what should be.

Our opening passage of Scripture teaches that everything that we say should edify those who are hearing it. If it does not, then we have a problem. Now in order to understand this in its proper context we are going to have to have a Scriptural understanding of what it means to edify.

We learn from the Peshitta that the Hebrew word for “edify” is בנין - “bin-yan.” This word is used in both the Tanak as well as the Brit to mean “a building” or “to build a structure.” Shaul uses this word four times in his letter to Ephesus. Let us look at each one to get a full idea of what he is saying in regards to our speech to one another as far as edifying one another. In each of the three following passages the English word which comes from בנין is underlined. It is also underlined in the opening passage as well.

Ephesians 2:21
in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in Adonenu;

In this passage Shaul uses this word, בנין, to signify the body of Mashiach and likens it to a physical structure or building. He is giving us the picture of how each member of the body of Mashiach is an individual building block, which when properly fit together makes the whole building complete.

Ephesians 4:12
for the perfecting of the saints, to the work of ministering, to the building up of the body of Mashiach;

In this passage Shaul uses this same word בנין again, only this time, rather than it being used to signify the actual structure, he is using it to signify the act of construction. Please realize that Shaul is not speaking of a literal building, but rather a metaphorical structure.

Ephesians 4:16
from whom all the body fitly framed and knit together through that which every joint supplies, according to the working in due measure of each part, makes the increase of the body to the building up of itself in love.

Once again in this passage Shaul is using this word, בנין, to signify the act of construction. It should be noted that it is the body of Mashiach who is building itself up in the love of Mashiach. This is the work of His body. This work progresses most beautifully when our speech to one another is qodesh or set-apart, which means that our speech does good and not harm. We also see that in our opening passage from 4:29, it is in this sense that the word “edifying” is being used. So, we could easily and rightly translate the opening passage as follows by inserting the phrase “building up” in place of edifying.

Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for building up as the need may be, that it may give grace to them that hear and obey.

What we then learn from this is that we are being admonished that our speech to one another is to build one another up, not tear each other down as is so often the case. Part of our building up one another must include protecting one another. When we see, for example, someone tearing another down with his words, we should not allow this to continue, but we should step in and put a stop to it. Let us further examine what this means to build one another up in the body of Mashiach so that we may engage in this activity in our daily living.

Colossians 4:6
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

The word “grace” comes from the Hebrew word חן - “chen” which means favor or grace. Within the meaning and concept of this word as it involves our speech to one another is the idea of showing compassion or kindness in the way in which one speaks to another. Now this is generally not a problem when it comes to speaking to someone who is a stranger at the store or in a brief encounter somewhere. Most generally most of us can speak to others whom we don’t know or barely know with the greatest of חן. This is not the problem area. The problem area is that the more we know someone the less on guard one tends to be with his tone and the words he uses in speaking to another. This is seen most clearly within a family between husband and wife. Then also how the parents speak to the children and the children speak to the parents.

All too often those within individual families adopt the attitude that the other family members know that since they are loved, this then somehow gives one the license to speak however he or she happens to be feeling at any given moment. Brothers and sisters, this is absolutely wrong! This is also seen within the body of Mashiach. Especially between the two houses, each house speaking in a way which is not edifying to his brother, but rather tearing down. It is almost as if the attitude is “since he is not a member of my group, then I do not have to give him respect or kindness.” It brings shame to our Master! Since when does a person have to have the exact same beliefs as you in order to qualify to be spoken to or about with kindness, respect and with words that build up rather than tear down? At times, we have all been guilty of this. In these days of restoration it is time that we put this evil speech aside and speak to one another in a manner that pleases our heavenly Father and brings glory and honor to His wonderful name! And we should do this all the time!

When one person is feeling exasperated or frustrated, then this tendency to “just let it all out” can become a real problem for those on the receiving end of this tirade. Or, one has the attitude that he must tell the other party the truth and just let the chips fall where they may. How is this building up - edifying? Yes, we can and should go and apologize and make it right, but what good does this do if this is just a continual cycle and nothing ever changes? Do you see the problem? At some point true teshuvah (repentance) must be done as one turns away from this wrong behavior and does what is right in His eyes.

Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 meekness, self-control; against such there is no Torah.

Walking and living in the fruit of His Spirit needs to be evident in one’s speech as well as through one’s life. Please note how each one of these attributes of the fruit of His Spirit would and should influence one’s words and tone that he uses in speaking to others, especially his or her family.

Above all we should speak in love to our loved ones. The majority of the hurt and pain that comes into our lives is actually through those whom we love the most and are closest to us. This is so because those whom we do not hold as dear cannot hurt us to the same depth as those who are close and dear to us. This love that is being spoken of here is not the touchy-feely kind of love, but rather the deep love of commitment that one has in giving of oneself to another. It is the kind of love one shows when he puts another before himself. This is the kind of love that should be evident in our words and tone to one another, particularly one’s family.

While there will be times of sadness that come into our lives, generally speaking our lives and our speech to one another should be overflowing with His joy. This should be able to be heard in our words as well as seen on our faces.

The peace or shalom that He gives is beyond comprehension to the world and those of the world. This deep seated shalom is based upon one’s relationship with our heavenly Father through Mashiach. When all is right in that relationship, then it will easily spill over into one’s relationships in this world. However, if one’s relationship with YHWH is not where it ought to be, then it will be nigh unto impossible to be in a right relationship with any other person regardless of how much we love and care for that other person. It is imperative that one keep his shalom intact from his heavenly Father. It is when we are in a right relationship with YHWH that we will see this reflected in one’s speech towards others, and in particular to one’s family members.

Most likely we could all do with an extra dose of longsuffering or patience when it comes to one’s relationships, particularly with those closest to us. It seems like that when one person gets his feelings hurt then the snowball effect takes over and things can and often do get out of control very quickly. Satan just has a heyday with this and has destroyed many a relationship because those involved were not more patient and understanding with the other. As one exercises patience then he will be able to be in proper control of his emotions, particularly his anger and the words which come out of his mouth.

Just imagine for one moment how your life might be different if every single word that came out of your mouth was full of kindness. But you might say, “but he (or she) started it.” But if you do not give back in like kind, but rather in kindness, then how can an argument escalate? It cannot. Remember, a soft answer turns away wrath. And in some cases it may take more than one soft answer. In this kindness, remember that this does not include being condescending or placating; doing either one of these will only make matters worse. The kindness that we show must be genuine and full of His Spirit.

Each one of these parts of the fruit of His Spirit is only possible in Him. However, it is perhaps no more evident than in goodness. Being good is not possible for us in and of ourselves. According to Scripture the heart of man is dark and the imaginations of his heart are evil and that continually. Remember, Yeshua taught that there is none good except our Father in heaven. So, to exhibit this goodness in one’s speech, then we must be walking in His Spirit. Since we talk so much, this then shows the importance of walking in His Spirit at all times.

There are perhaps two ideas present in the word faithfulness. First, we need to be faithful to Mashiach our Master. We need to speak to others as if we were speaking directly to Him. For in reality we are doing this very thing when we speak to a brother or sister in the faith; and this includes those who might be one’s spouse or child. This includes those who are also potential brothers and sisters as well, which is everyone. Second, if we are speaking to another, and in particular, one’s spouse, to whom we made a commitment, then we should always honor that commitment when we are speaking to the one whom we love and whom YHWH has given to us to love and cherish. One needs to be faithful to his or her spouse in his speech.

It is the words spoken harshly and in anger from some real or perceived hurt that seem to enflame one’s feelings to the point of responding in like manner. However, if each one of us will keep this in check and always respond in gentleness (meekness), then it will disarm potentially damaging situations and keep us in right relationships with one another. This does not mean that we allow others to walk all over us, but that we give others the benefit of any doubts that may be present.

It is interesting to note that the final aspect of the fruit of His Spirit is self-control. It is this one aspect which actually causes the other ones to be put into practice. Without this one, none of the others will be realized. It is when one has self-control that he will be able to communicate with love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness. Scripture has much to say about this aspect of our speech.

Ya’aqov (James) 3:2-11
2 For in many things we all stumble. If anyone does not stumble in word, the same is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also.
3 Now if we put the horses' bridles into their mouths that they may obey us, we turn about their whole body also.
4 Behold, the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by rough winds, are yet turned about by a very small rudder, wherever the desire of the helmsman wills.
5 So also the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. Behold, how much wood is kindled by such a small fire!
6 And the tongue is a fire; the tongue is the world of iniquity among our members, which defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the wheel of nature, and is set on fire by hell.
7 For every kind of beasts and birds, of creeping things and things in the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by mankind.
8 But the tongue can no man tame. It is a restless evil; it is full of deadly poison.
9 Therewith we bless YHWH and the Father; and therewith we curse men, who are made after the likeness of Elohim;
10 out of the same mouth comes forth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.
11 Does the fountain send forth from the same opening sweet water and bitter?

Scripture teaches in many places that it is difficult, even nigh unto impossible for a man to control the words which come out of his mouth. What this points to is the dire need that we need to surrender control of our tongue to His Spirit if one is to have any hope of controlling the words coming out of his mouth. This does not mean that the person speaking is not expected to work at controlling his words, but rather that when that effort is empowered by His Spirit, then it not only becomes possible, but with practice it will become a reality.

When one does this, then He can control what comes out of his mouth. It is in those times of emotional duress that one often steps back into his flesh and retakes control of his speech. In these times it will nearly always end in a shipwreck. In order to steer though those types of perilous waters of strife, one must be calm inside and then the words which come forth will be calm as well.

However, if one is not calm on the inside, then what will come forth will not be calm Spirit-led words, but tumultuous, harmful, damaging words. This is not good for us or for those on the receiving end of this outburst, nor is it good for those who might happen to be nearby.

As the passage above points out, at times man blesses YHWH, then at other times he curses his fellow man. Is this actually possible? The Scripture seems to indicate that this is not possible. What Scripture teaches, yea, what Mashiach taught was that the heart is either one way or another, but it cannot be both ways.

Matithyah (Matthew) 12:33
“Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by its fruit.”

It is interesting to note that Yeshua is speaking about making a tree either good or bad (corrupt). However, how can a man do this to a tree? He cannot. This shows that Yeshua was teaching about trees in a metaphorical sense. He was actually teaching about people. In this sense one has the capacity to make his own tree (heart) either good or bad. And it depends upon what he does and what he feeds his heart as to what will come out of his heart through his mouth in the form of words.

Matithyah (Matthew) 7:17-20
17 “Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but the corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Therefore by their fruits you shall know them.”

One of the most visible fruits that any man has is the words of his mouth. What comes out of your mouth? Are the words pouring forth in the form of speech or even on the internet as one types responses to others, words edifying and building up those who hear them or read them? Or, do they drip with spite and angry vindictiveness?

Ya’aqov (James) 4:1-4
1 What is the source of the quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?
2 You lust, and do not have; you kill and covet, and cannot obtain; you fight and war; you have not, because you ask not.
3 You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it in your pleasures.
4 You adulteresses, do you not know that the friendship of the world is enmity with Elohim? Whosoever therefore would be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of Elohim.

What we learn from this passage is that one of the main sources of words which causes division and strife among brethren is selfish pleasures and desires. It is when a person strives to get what he wants that he breaks the shalom in a relationship. The shalom will also be broken in a relationship even if one person perceives that the other is seeking a self-motivated goal when it may not be true at all. But the very perception is enough to break the shalom between two people. The shalom will remain broken until such time as either the selfish goals are no longer pursued or the perception of seeking these goals is corrected.

Please note the following passage.

Gilyana (Revelation) 12:10
And I heard a great voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation has come, and the power, and the kingdom of our Elohim, and the authority of His Mashiach; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, who accuses them before our Elohim day and night.”

Satan is the accuser. He accuses the people of YHWH every chance he gets. These accusations begin in a person’s mind and heart when another person says or does something that hurts us. When this happens Satan immediately begins to whisper in our thoughts, accusations of all sorts of evil as to what the other person “intended”. His purpose is for us to accept these accusations and believe them. For Satan knows that when a person begins believing these accusations of evil, then he is more likely to speak them. For he does everything he can to get us to accuse one another. He attempts to bring division and strife into His body at every opportunity that he can. If Satan can get one to utter words of accusation, then he has done much to break the shalom in that relationship. And when this happens, then it is much more difficult for anyone to hear His Voice. And if one cannot hear or one has difficulty hearing His Voice, then obedience becomes problematic if not outright impossible.

Kepha Aleph (1st Peter) 5:8
Be sober, be watchful; your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.

Satan is continually roaring out accusations against the people of YHWH. We need to not listen to these accusations in our thoughts or from others. Rather, we are to believe the best of people and to give them the benefit of any doubts. This is especially true when it comes to rumors and gossip. Do not believe or pass on those things about another person just because they are from a reliable source. If it does harm to another, then this is not building up the body of Mashiach.

Ephesians 4:26-27
26 Be angry, but do not sin; let not the sun go down upon your anger;
27 neither give place to the devil.

Sin is something that we should be angry about. Sin brings only death and destruction. When one is angry then he needs to be even more diligent at guarding the words of his mouth. We do not want to make matters worse by what we speak. What we should desire is to bring healing with our words, rather than harm.

I remember that there was a person who had hurt me very much. It made me angry. Since this person lived a long distance from me I was unable to go directly to that person. I tried to write many letters to this person, letters I never sent because each letter was written in anger and it was easily seen in the letter. I would write a letter and then throw it away, knowing that this was not right or bringing honor to my heavenly Father’s name. Then one day I realized that I loved this person very much. With that realization I sat down and wrote a beautiful letter. It said all the things that I needed to say, but it was done in the fullness of my love for that person. That letter I mailed. Yes, I was still angry at the sin, but I had gotten to the point of being able to separate my anger for the sin and hurt which this person had caused me, and was writing out of love and concern for his spiritual well-being.

Qorintyah Bet (2nd Corinthians) 2:10-11
10 But to whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for what I also have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, for your sakes have I forgiven it in the presence of Mashiach;
11 that no advantage may be gained over us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

While it may have been true that those to whom Shaul was writing knew about the devices of Satan, I wonder if we know and understand those devises today. For example, in this one passage Shaul actually tells us that one of Satan’s devices is unforgiveness. When a person chooses not to forgive another for any reason whatsoever, then he opens the door for Satan to march right in and do just about whatever he pleases. Once a person begins listening to the list of accusations that the accuser feeds him, it tends to snowball into something big and ugly rather quickly.

This particular devise of Satan is the spirit of unforgiveness. So just exactly what does the spirit of unforgiveness look like? If a person is continually bringing up past hurts, then he has not forgiven the person. When one actually forgives another, then he will no longer remind him of what he did in the past. This is what Satan does; he accuses. However, on the other hand what our heavenly Father does is that when we ask Him to forgive us, He not only does that, but then He does not continually rub our noses in our past for He has covered these past sins in the Blood of Mashiach.

So, here is the question that one needs to ask himself. Who do I listen to, Satan or YHWH? Do I do as YHWH does and forgive completely and then let it go? Or, do I do as Satan does and not let it go and continually bring it up and continue to foster hurt and strife?

All this of course will come right out of one’s mouth. But it does not have to be that way at all.

Ya’aqov (James) 4:7
Be subject therefore to Elohim; but resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Just because a thought comes into one’s mind does not mean that it should come out of one’s mouth! Once something is spoken, it cannot be unspoken. Just because a thought comes into one’s mind does not mean that it should come out of one’s mouth. We as His people need to practice a lot more restraint in this area. We need to stop speaking our own words and speak His words.

Please note that in the passage above, in order for the devil to flee from us, we have to resist him. If one simply gives in to every thought and he speaks every thought, then he is not resisting the devil and he will not flee from him. The other part of resisting the devil is submitting to YHWH our Elohim. The verses immediately before and after this one helps one to further our understanding of what it means to submit to Elohim in this matter.

Ya’aqov 4:6-8
6 But he gives more grace. Therefore the scripture says,
Elohim resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
7 Be subject therefore to Elohim; but resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Draw near to Elohim, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded.

One of the main requirements to having control of the words that come forth from our mouths is to be humble. YHWH will not give us the help we need if we hold onto pride and cultivate that type of spirit in our lives. One also needs to draw near to YHWH as our Elohim and as one draws near to Him, then He will also draw near to those who seek Him.

Then one needs to cleanse his hands and purify his heart. This means that we do what we can to stop sinning. We must do what we know to do to resist the devil. One cannot rightly expect YHWH to do all the work for him. Each person needs to master his own life through the strength and power of Mashiach Yeshua as He empowers us with His Spirit. As YHWH shows us things that we need to remove from our lives because it is not pleasing to Him, then one should do what is necessary to remove that from His life. The cleansing of one’s hands simply means to stop doing that which is not pleasing to YHWH. The hands are symbolic of one’s actions. The purifying of one’s heart simply means to stop thinking those things that are not pleasing to YHWH. The heart is symbolic of one’s thoughts.

The truth is that the battle rages most fiercely in one’s mind. But if one never resists in this area, then he will not and cannot be victorious over Satan. If one is going to be victorious over Satan, then he must resist him. Those thoughts that bring division between brethren and between husband and wife must not be entertained!

Please note how we should think and speak about one another in the following passage.

Qorintyah Aleph (1st Corinthians) 13:4-6
4 Love is patient, and
Love is kind;
Love does not envy;
Love does not exalt itself,
Love is not puffed up,
5 Love does not behave unseemly,
Love does not seek its own,
Love is not provoked,
Love does not keep a record of evil;
6 Love rejoices not in unrighteousness, but
Love rejoices with the truth;

Brothers and sisters, this is how we need to think and then speak about one another. It is when one begins entertaining thoughts that go outside of these parameters that one will get himself into trouble in his relationships.

However, as much as each person in Mashiach Yeshua needs to do this in His love, that is only possible if Yeshua is Master of one’s life and he has been filled with His Spirit. This does not mean that he is going to get it perfect or right at all times. But what it does mean is that he will grow and mature in this area of his thinking and speaking as he grows and matures in Mashiach Yeshua.

Qorintyah Aleph (1st Corinthians) 1:10
Now I beseech you, brethren, through the name of Adonenu Yeshua Mashiach, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

If the words coming out of one’s mouth cause division among brethren, then we can be sure that Mashiach is not the author of those words. The body of Mashiach is not to be divided. This is exactly what Satan desires to do and accomplish: to divide the body of Mashiach. He will do this first in one’s mind and then this will come forth out of one’s mouth. Let us resist the devil together and give him no room or place in our lives to plant these evil thoughts which will bear the fruit of evil words. Let us guard not only our own minds but the lives of one another as well.

Vayyiqra (Leviticus) 19:17
You shall not hate your brother in your heart; you shall surely correct your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.

It is easy to take the position that one does not want to get involved. This position is often backed up by experience when one attempts to go to another person and he is not well received by the other one. When this happens a cycle of hurt can set in, eventually ending in one hating another. As the people of YHWH we cannot allow this to happen. We must do what we know to do in this area. When one sees a wrong, then he needs to speak to his brother about it. And as Scripture says, we are to do this in private first.

However, before one will be able to speak in a manner to his brother so that he will be able to win him, he must first go before YHWH and remove the log out of his own eye. Only then will his words be able to have the desired effect in restoring the relationship. For a fuller treatment of this subject please see the study on Repairing Broken Relationships: The true purpose of the Matthew 18 Process.

Let us remind ourselves that we are speaking of the words that come out of our mouths in this study. In particular, we are looking at and desiring for those words to be edifying and building up of others rather than tearing them down.

Let us examine several passages of Scripture that have some particular admonishments concerning our speech to one another.

Ephesians 5:12
for the things which are done by them in secret it is a shame even to speak of.

Sin is not funny! Sin is not a joke! Those things that are done by men in the darkness should not even be spoken of by those who walk in His light. When a person speaks of these things, he brings shame on himself and upon our Master Yeshua.

Titus 3:2
to speak evil of no man, not to be contentious, to be gentle, showing all meekness toward all men.

Most of us have probably been around contentious people. It is not a pleasant thing at all. We need to stop speaking evil about one another! We need to stop speaking evil about anyone at all. We need to stop speaking evil about political leaders. We just need to stop speaking evil.

What we need to speak are words of righteousness, words that build up.

Ya’aqov (James) 1:19
You know this, my beloved brethren. But let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.

I wonder if we will ever learn that when we are angry we should keep our mouths shut? When a person speaks angry words they will only cause hurt and division. YHWH is not the author of such words. Let us speak slowly; that is, let us think carefully and in His Spirit about the words that are coming out of our mouths. If the words are not uplifting, then we most likely should not say them.

Ya’aqov (James) 4:11
Speak not one against another, brethren. He that speaks against a brother, or judges his brother, speaks against the Torah, and judges the Torah; but if you judge the Torah, you are not a doer of the Torah, but a judge.

Typically what happens in a relationship that is having difficulties is that judgment sets in, in which the individual parties begin to judge the thoughts and motives of the other person. This will never lead to anything productive. This activity needs to be repented of and stopped.

Also, we need to stop looking for a sympathetic ear to listen to our woes. What we need to do is to get in a right relationship with Mashiach Yeshua and allow Him to tell us what to do and especially what to say. But when we say it we need to say it in love and compassion so that the other person’s ears will be able to hear us. Going to a person and saying, “Elohim told me to tell you _________”, is a type of message that is counterproductive and has a strong tendency to close the ears of the other person, because this comes across as “lording it over” another, which Yeshua commanded us not to do. We need to consider how we would like to be approached and then do likewise.

Kepha Aleph (1st Peter) 3:10
For, He that would love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.

What does it mean to “speak no guile”? It means that there is no trickery, deceit or underhandedness in anything that one says. It means that one is being honest and compassionate and speaking in kindness and love for the well-being of the other person.

Simply put, it means that one is not speaking from selfish motivations. When one speaks with no guile whatsoever, then he is speaking only the words of YHWH through His Spirit and one’s own self has been completely set aside.

Ya’aqov (James) 1:26
If any man thinks himself to be religious, while he bridles not his tongue but deceives his heart, this man's religion is vain.

Ouch! Ya’aqov really gets to the point on this one. Ya’aqov is so practical and right on point. If we as His people truly desire to walk the walk of Mashiach Yeshua, then we must get control of our tongues and the words that pour forth from our mouths. There is not a single one of us that wants to walk this walk in vain!

This is not an easy task. It is a task that can only be done through a lot of hard work and effort on our part. Let’s face it, communicating effectively is not easy and it takes constant vigilance to guard the gates of our mouth.

Mishle (Proverbs) 13:3
He that guards his mouth keeps his life;
But he that opens wide his lips shall have destruction.

Not a single one of us desires destruction. So, we have only one alternative, to guard our mouths. Each one of us will have one or the other, life or destruction, and this will be largely dependent upon whether blessings or curses come forth from one’s mouth.

Tehillim (Psalm) 141:3
Set a watch, YHWH, before my mouth;
Keep the door of my lips.

This should be the prayer and desire of each one of us. Not only should we pray this, but then we should also diligently submit to YHWH as well as resist the devil.

Tehillim (Psalm) 71:8
My mouth shall be filled with Your praise,
And with Your honor all the day.

This is what we should be speaking. We should be speaking of how and what YHWH our Elohim is doing in our lives each and every day. If we do this, then we will not have time to entertain or speak evil about one another.

Ephesians 5:18-20
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit;
19 speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to YHWH;
20 giving thanks always for all things in the name of our Adonenu Yeshua the Mashiach to Elohim the Father;

This passage teaches us that what comes out of one’s mouth is largely determined by what fills him. If we are filled with His Spirit as we should be, then we should speak to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Our words will be full of thanksgiving in His great and glorious name.

Colossians 3:15-17
15 And let the peace of Mashiach rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and you be thankful.
16 Let the word of Mashiach dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to Elohim.
17 And whatsoever you do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Adonenu Yeshua the Mashiach, giving thanks to Elohim the Father through Him.

In this passage we find one of the major keys to the types of words that come forth out of one’s mouth. It is the peace (shalom) of Mashiach. If His shalom rules supreme in a person’s life, then this is what will come out of his mouth. However, if this is not what rules supreme, then something else will come out of his mouth. Simply put, it is the choice of the individual.

Now, regardless of how well we conduct ourselves there will be those who will speak evil of us. Yeshua even teaches us this, warning us in advance that this will happen to us as we serve Him.

Matithyah (Matthew) 5:11-12
11 “Blessed are you when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you.”

Yeshua tells us in advance to rejoice when this happens. But let me tell you something, you will not feel like it! When this happens it hurts. It does not feel good. It feels pretty rotten. And these feelings will be all the stronger the closer to us the one speaking the evil happens to be. However, Mashiach Yeshua is not dealing with our feelings here. What He is dealing with is the actions that we are to engage in when another speaks evil against us. What we will feel like doing is lashing out and striking back. That is what we will feel like doing when this happens. But we must resist the devil and not do this. What we are commanded to do is to rejoice. It is the activity of rejoicing and praising our heavenly Father for being counted worthy to suffer for His great name that will put our thinking right and give us the proper and true perspective that we need in order to have victory in this matter.

Once again, keeping in mind that we are learning how to speak words of edification, words which build up, let us close with the following passage as a wonderful reminder of how we are to think and speak to one another.

Qorintyah Aleph (1st Corinthians) 13:1-8
1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become a sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.
2 And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
3 And if I give all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love is patient long, and is kind; love does not envy; love does not exalt itself, is not puffed up,
5 does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not its own, is not provoked, does not keep a record of wrongs;
6 rejoices not in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails; but whether there are prophecies, they shall be done away; whether there are tongues, they shall cease.

Every single word that comes forth from our mouths must be seasoned with love. Not just any love, mind you; but seasoned with the love of Mashiach Yeshua. His love needs to come forth from our mouths as well as our actions.

ABBA YHWH, may the Spirit of YHWH fill us up to overflowing and teach us how to speak to one another as well as about one another in a manner worthy of Mashiach Yeshua and the calling He has given to each one of us; in the name of Mashiach Yeshua.

Amein and Amein.

Shabbat Shalom
Zerubbabel ben Emunah