Hot Topics... Free Speech
Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
Free speech is an American trademark. It heads the playlist in our Bill of Rights.* But remember Paul's words on legal rights:
'All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful' (1 Corinthians 6:12, NKJV).
Q: Are our words consistently helpful? Because free speech can harm or bring bondage, when our words are...
1) Cutting and critical: 'Sharp words cut like a sword' (Proverbs 12:18, CEV).
2) Unduly flattering: 'For there is no truth in their mouth... They flatter with their tongue' (Psalm 5:9, ESV).
3) Idle and frivolous: 'For every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment' (Matthew 12:36, NKJV).
4) Spreading harmful gossip: 'Meddling in other people's business and talking about things they shouldn't' (1 Timothy 5:13, NLT).
5) Deliberately false: 'A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who tells lies will perish' (Proverbs 19:9, NASB).
6) Stirring strife in others: 'Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out...' (Proverbs 22:10, NASB).
7) Twisting the Truth of God. 'You shall not add to the Word which I am commanding you, nor take away from It' (Deuteronomy 4:2).**
Bottom line: our speech may be free of legal fallout, but spiritually, words bring effect: namely life or death.
## Hot Topics... Free Speech (Part 28)
* Amendment 1: https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/amendments/amendment-i
** I testify to everyone who hears the Words of the prophecy of this Book: if anyone adds to Them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this Book; and if anyone takes away from the Words of the Book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this Book' (Revelation 22:18-19, NASB).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Hot Topics series.