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二○一九年四月二十七日/四月二十八日                                                                                 Click here for English version

從言語想起

蕭壽華牧師

言語影響之大,往往超出我們所能想像的。聖經告訴我們:「若有人在話語上沒有過失,他就是完全人。」能夠正直、合宜地掌握自己舌頭的人,他便能夠管理自己的人生,行在光明中。

言語可以破壞,也可以建立。箴言內滿是這方面的描寫:「說話浮躁的,如刀刺人;智慧人的舌頭卻為醫人的良藥。」(箴十二 18)「溫良的舌是生命樹;乖謬的嘴使人心碎。」(箴十五 4)願意謹慎自己的言語,學習說合宜話語的人,他的生命便如活水泉源,滋潤別人心田。

如何能口出恩言?一個人必須立定心志,「離惡行善,尋求和睦,一心追趕」,警覺不讓舌頭出惡言,嘴唇不說詭詐的話。猶大書告訴我們,當天使長米迦勒為摩西的身體與魔鬼爭辯的時候,「尚且不敢用毀謗的話罪責他。只說:『主責備你吧!』」一位尊貴且滿有權柄的天使長,面對天地間最值得責備的魔鬼,也不敢用毀謗的說話責罵他,只按著神的主權與真理,指出他的錯誤來,何況我們這些血肉之軀的人呢?

除去詭詐與毀謗後要作甚麼?「所以,你們既除去一切的惡毒、詭詐……和一切毀謗的話,就要愛慕那純淨的靈奶,像才生的嬰孩愛慕奶一樣」(彼前二 1-2)。一個人內心若沒有神的話語,就是那純淨的靈奶,他就不能隨事隨時說造就人的話。雖然我們不是才生的嬰孩,但我們要「像」他們,意識到自己的需要,不斷尋求領受主的話。

「謠言止於智者」,我們不單追求智慧良善的言語,也謹慎不成為傳播憤恨與愚昧的人。「火缺了柴就必熄滅;無人傳舌,爭競便止息。」(箴二十六 20)自己首先寬容別人的不是,也明白一切的傳言均有不盡不實之處,因此不容許自己的說話挑起誤會與爭端。

使徒保羅曾面對嚴厲的毀謗與攻擊,然而他說:「被人咒罵,我們就祝福……被人毀謗,我們就善勸。」

(本文選錄自蕭牧師著作《牧野心路》)






Pastor's Sharing
Reflections on Words
Rev Gordon Siu

More often than not, the power and impact of our words goes beyond imagination. The Bible tells us: "Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect" (James 3:2). Indeed, anyone who can use the right words at the right time — and say them with integrity — can put his life in order, and walk in the light.

Words can destroy, as they can build. The Proverbs is full of sayings like these: "The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" (Proverbs 12:18); "The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit" (Proverbs 15:4). Anyone who is prepared to exercise caution in his words and learn to say the right words at the right time will find his life like a spring. Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water that nourishes others' hearts.

How can we say words of blessing? We must be determined to "turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it" (Psalm 34:14). We must consciously keep our tongue from evil and our lips from deceit. The Book of Jude tells us that when the archangel Michael disputed with the devil about the body of Moses, he "did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, 'The Lord rebuke you!'" In front of the devil that most deserves condemnation, a powerful and majestic archangel dared not condemn him for slander, but only pointed out the devil's mistake in accordance with the sovereignty and truth of God. That is a good example for humans.

What do we do after removing all malice and deceit? "Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, … and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk" (1 Peter 2:1-2). When we do not have the words of God — the pure spiritual milk — in us, we cannot easily say things that benefit those who listen. Although we are not newborn babies, we need to be like them. We need to know what we need and incessantly seek the Word of God.

An ancient Chinese saying goes like this: "Rumors stop at a wise person." We not only seek good and wise words, but should also guard against spreading hatred and foolishness. "Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down" (Proverbs 26:20). We must first be accommodating. At the same time, we need to know that there is always falsehood in gossips and rumors, and we do not allow our words to stir up misunderstanding or dispute.

The Apostle Paul faced serious slander and attack. Nevertheless, he said: "When we are cursed, we bless; … when we are slandered, we answer kindly" (1 Corinthians 4:12).

[The original Chinese article is taken from 《牧野心路》(Listen to the Heart of A Shepherd) by Rev. Gordon Siu, published by North Point Alliance Church in 1993]