善用我們話語的力量──CAPITALIZING ON THE POWER OF OUR WORDS

多年來,我有幸經常透過CBMC和許多令人難忘的上帝兒女們接觸。羅伯特.福斯特(Robert D. Foster)就是其中之一,他在2016年以96歲的高齡安息主懷。他說:「生命配得去活;人們配得被愛;上帝配得相信。」

多年來,羅伯特每週都會寫一篇靈修文章「你和上帝的週一早晨」,用講故事的方式強而有力的傳達聖經的真理。有一篇是這樣描述的:某天,著名的英國瓷器品牌創立者喬舒亞.威基伍德(Josiah Wedgewood)陪同一位英國貴族參觀他的工廠。在場的還有威基伍德的一名青少年員工。

貴族在與威基伍德交談中,使用了褻瀆和粗俗的言語。起初,那位少年對這種語言感到震驚。但後來他對那個男人的粗俗笑話入了迷,並跟著一起笑。這讓威基伍德感到非常憎惡和嚴重的苦惱。

在參訪結束前,威基伍德向訪客展示了一個設計獨特的花瓶。這位貴族因為它精美的外形和少見的美麗著迷,當他伸手去拿,想更近地看它時,威基伍德卻故意讓它掉在地板上,瞬間,花瓶破裂成許多碎片!這位貴族憤怒地大叫:「我想要那隻花瓶當我的收藏,但卻因為你的粗心而毀了它!」 

威基伍德說:「先生,比起花瓶的無法挽回與修復,還有其他更珍貴的東西也被破壞了,例如,剛才離開我們的那個少年人,他的父母花了多年的時間試著教他對神聖的事物表示敬意。但你的粗俗語言卻不到半小時的時間就把它毀了。」
 
我們的話語帶有能力,會帶出極大的美善或極大的傷害。這不是要論斷人,我們許多人在壓力或憤怒時都會說出一到兩個不恰當的用詞。但是,如我們在聖經中看到的那樣,合宜的言詞能成為舒緩的良藥,而不明智的言詞則可能造成很大的傷害。 

我們的話語反映我們是甚麼樣的人。我們是否希望別人根據我們所說的話以及我們如何說,來評價我們是甚麼樣的人呢?「你要除掉邪僻的口,棄絕乖謬的嘴。」(箴言4章24節)。

我們的話語反映出我們內裡。就像一個裝滿水的水桶一樣,當被撞時,會溢出內容物,我們所說的話會顯示自己內心深處的思想、感受和價值觀。「義人的心,思量如何回答;惡人的口吐出惡言。」(箴言15章28節)。

我們的話語反映出我們的信仰。很多人選擇用話語來打動特定的個人或群體。跟隨耶穌基督的我們應該知道自己的信仰管理著我們所說的話。「耶和華─我的磐石,我的救贖主啊,願我口中的言語、心裏的意念在你面前蒙悅納。」(詩篇19篇14節)。

我們的話語反映出我們的自制力。衝動、不受控的人可能會脫口而出自己後來都覺得遺憾的話,但智慧能掌管住舌頭,以防口頭上的災難。「寡少言語的,有知識;性情溫良的,有聰明。」(箴言17章27節)。

 © 2020. Robert J. Tamasy 是企業巔峰: 給今日職場從箴言而來永恆的智慧 一書的作者。也與導師之的作者David A. Stoddard 合著Tufting Legacies。編輯多本著作包括Mike Landry. Bob的書: 透過苦難成長。Mike Landry. Bob的網站為www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com

反省與問題討論

  1. 你是否有措辭不當、粗俗或一時衝動、不假思索就脫口而出所造成的問題呢?如果有,你如何處理?或者你認為不必擔心這不會給任何人造成困擾?
  2. 如果你的上司、同事、客戶或客人言語粗俗或褻瀆,讓聽的人尷尬或印象很差,你會如何處理?
  3. 你是否同意我們的言語反映出我們的內在品格,按聖經的說法,就是反映我們的內裡呢?請解釋你的答案。
  4. 我們的言語,無論是公開或是私下所說出的,都可能顯現出我們的信念和信仰嗎?

備註:如果你有聖經,想閱讀更多經關的經文,請參考:
箴言10章19-21、 32節
10:19 多言多語難免有過;禁止嘴唇是有智慧。
10:20 義人的舌乃似高銀;惡人的心所值無幾。
10:21 義人的口教養多人;愚昧人因無知而死亡。
10:32 義人的嘴能令人喜悅;惡人的口說乖謬的話。
箴言12章14、18節
12:14 人因口所結的果子,必飽得美福;人手所做的,必為自己的報應
12:18 說話浮躁的,如刀刺人;智慧人的舌頭卻為醫人的良藥。
箴言13章3節
13:3 謹守口的,得保生命;大張嘴的,必致敗亡。
箴言15章4、23節
15:4 溫良的舌是生命樹;乖謬的嘴使人心碎。
15:23 口善應對,自覺喜樂;話合其時,何等美好。
箴言17章20、28節
17:20 心存邪僻的,尋不著好處;舌弄是非的,陷在禍患中。
17:28 愚昧人若靜默不言也可算為智慧;閉口不說也可算為聰明。
箴言20章15節
20:15 有金子和許多珍珠(或譯:紅寶石),惟有知識的嘴乃為貴重的珍寶。
箴言21章23節
21:23 謹守口與舌的,就保守自己免受災難。
箴言22章11節
22:11 喜愛清心的人因他嘴上的恩言,王必與他為友。
以弗所書4章29節
4:29 污穢的言語一句不可出口,只要隨事說造就人的好話,叫聽見的人得益處。


CAPITALIZING ON THE POWER OF OUR WORDS

By Robert J. Tamasy

Over the years, I have had the privilege of meeting many unforgettable men and women of God, often through CBMC. One of these was Robert D. Foster, who entered the presence of the Lord in 2016, at the age of 96. A simple philosophy guided his life: “Life is worth living; people are worth loving; God is worth trusting.”

For many years Bob wrote a weekly meditation, “Take Two for Monday Morning,” in which he told stories to communicate the truths of the Scriptures in powerful ways. One of those was about a day when Josiah Wedgewood, the English creator of famous Wedgewood pottery, escorted a British nobleman through his factory. One of the Wedgwood employees, a young teenager, accompanied them.

The nobleman used profane and vulgar language in his conversation with Wedgewood. At first the boy was shocked by the language; then he became fascinated by the man’s coarse jokes and laughed at them. Wedgwood, however, was disgusted and deeply distressed.

At the conclusion of the tour, he showed his visitor a vase of unique design. The man was charmed by its exquisite shape and rare beauty. When he reached for it, wanting to see it more closely, Wedgwood purposely let it drop to the floor. It shattered into many tiny pieces! Cursing in anger, the nobleman cried: “I wanted that vase for my collection, and you have just ruined it by your carelessness!”
 
His host responded, “Sir, there are other ruined things more precious than a vase that can never be restored. You can never give back to that young man, who just left us, the reverence for sacred things his parents have tried to teach him for years. You have undone their labor [with your language] in less than half an hour.”
 
What power our words have, for great good or for great damage. This is not to judge people, since many of us in a time of stress or moments of anger have let slip a poorly chosen word or two. But as we see in the Bible, a timely word can serve as soothing medicine, while unwise words can do much damage:
 
Our words are a reflection of our character. Would we want others to evaluate the kind of people we are based on the things we say and how we say them? “Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips” (Proverbs 4:24).

Our words are a reflection of our hearts. Like a filled bucket, when bumped, spills out its contents, our words can reveal our innermost thoughts, feelings and values. “The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil” (Proverbs 15:28).

Our words are a reflection of our beliefs. Many people choose their words to make an impression on specific individuals or groups. Those of us who follow Jesus Christ understand that our faith should govern our speech. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord” (Psalm 19:14).

Our words are a reflection of our self-control. Impulsive, unrestrained people may spew words they later regret, but wisdom will rein in our tongues to prevent verbal disasters. “A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered” (Proverbs 17:27).

© 2021. Robert J. Tamasy has written Marketplace Ambassadors: CBMC’s Continuing Legacy of Evangelism and Discipleship; Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace; Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart, coauthored with Ken Johnson; andThe Heart of Mentoring, coauthored with David A. Stoddard. Bob’s biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. Have you ever had a problem with the use of poorly chosen words, profanity, or blurting out whatever comes to mind in the heat of the moment? If so, what have you done about it – or did you think it was not a problem for anyone to be concerned about? 
  2. How would you handle a superior, coworker, customer or client whose profane or vulgar speech is an embarrassment or makes a poor impression on those who hear it?
  3. Do you agree that the words we say can be a good reflection of our inner character, or as the Bible terms it, our hearts? Why or why not?
  4. What does our speech – the things we say, whether in public or private – reveal about our beliefs and our faith, if anything?      

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages: Proverbs 10:19-21,32, 12:14,18, 13:3, 15:4,23, 17:20,28, 20:15, 21:23, 22:11; Ephesians 4:29


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