The General Secretary of The Church of Pentecost, Apostle Alexander Nana Yaw Kumi-Larbi, has advised Christians to be very circumspect in their utterances and be gracious in speech.
Apostle Kumi-Larbi noted that words are very powerful and should never be uttered carelessly since it could have an adverse impact on the listener or hearer.
“We all know that words can be cruel because they have power. We have all been hurt by what someone said to us. We know that words have staying-power because we carry wounds from our youth where someone said something negative to us or called us by a derogatory name. And even now, we still feel some pain whenever we think about it.
“So, if we know this, why are we still so careless with our words? Why do we easily spew negativity instead of using the power of words to build ourselves and those around us up and be a positive influence?” he bemoaned.
Reading from 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 and Ephesians 4:29, the General Secretary reminded Christians of their new status in Christ – new creations – and urged them to make conscious efforts to shrug off the old sinful nature in order to reflect the nature of Christ in their conduct and particularly in their speech.
“From the very moment we are regenerated (born again), the old-self is to be put off and should remain nailed to the cross, and we are to ‘put on the new-self.’ This is because we have become a new creation with the new life that is found in Christ,” he explained.
He urged Christians to effectively put on the new nature by making a decisive and deliberate effort to adopt godly attitudes and behaviours while abstaining from carnal things. He also advised them to rid themselves of worldly vices and to stop deceiving, defrauding, or harming others. “We are also advised against sinning when anger rises in our heart, and deal with wrong motives and harmful emotions swiftly,” he added.
Apostle Kumi-Larbi, again, asserted that “Christians do not just read God’s word and study its content in order to expand our knowledge of Scripture, but are required to obey and apply scripture to our everyday life,” adding that “when we walk in the unity of the Spirit and live in the holiness of heart, we mature in the faith, grow in grace, and produce the fruit of humility; patience; gentleness and love.”
He, therefore, encouraged Christians to desist from the use of foul and abusive language because it does not nourish (improve) the lives of their hearers, creates deep wounds, causes unpleasantness in the environment, a sign of spiritual illness or immaturity, and, more importantly, because they will render an account to God on every word that is uttered carelessly. (Matthew 12:34-37)
In the place of unwholesome talk, he advised Christians to always utter gracious words that would edify themselves and those around them.
“As Christians, the words we speak should flow from a heart that is centered on Christ and should minister timely words of grace and encouragement to others,” he said while noting that “another aspect of gracious speech is the Christian’s ability to resolutely defend their faith in gentleness and respect.”
This passionate appeal by the General Secretary was contained in a sermon titled “Let Your Speech Always Be Gracious And Seasoned With Salt,“ which he delivered on Sunday, December 13, 2020, when he fellowshipped with members of the Osu Central Assembly of the church.
Other scripture references used by Apostle Kumi-Larbi include Ecclesiastes 10:12-14, Proverbs 15:1-2, Proverbs 15:23, Proverbs 18:21 and James 1:26.