The Youth’s Instructor


July 11, 1895

Our Words


Those who love Jesus Christ will contemplate his character, meditate upon his words, practice his precepts, and become living missionaries. The words they speak will be like apples of gold in pictures of silver. The homes about us might be havens of rest and peace; but they have been anything but this because of the incalculable mischief that has been wrought by the tongue. Souls have been murdered by harsh, censorious words. If the cases of some could be brought to light, it would be revealed that souls have been lost because, when they were struggling under temptation, persons have united with Satan in casting upon them unkind, discouraging words. Men in positions of importance have felt at liberty to speak to them inconsiderately, to give utterance to suspicions, and to judge them hastily. The spiritual atmosphere which surrounded the souls of these men was of a malicious character. They themselves were under the sway of Satan, and the fruit of their words was a soul lost unto death through time and eternity. They placed a rock of stumbling before the feet of the tempted, and caused them to stumble and fall. No after effort to lift up the fallen soul was successful. YI July 11, 1895, par. 1

When men are tempted, how often they drop the bad seed of doubt into the mind of another, and watered by the suggestions of Satan, it takes root and bears fruit. The man who is thus influenced by the evil word, in his turn insinuates his doubts into the minds of others. The one who first dropped the seed may overcome his error, and become established in the truth. He may outlive his temptation, pass into the sunshine of perfect faith, and be entirely unconscious that his words have lived and rankled in the soul of another. He may not know that he is poisoning the atmosphere of another soul forever. Terrible are the results that have come from the sowing of such seed. “The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.... The tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” YI July 11, 1895, par. 2

Will you to whom I now address these words, take heed to the instruction given you? Let the youth take warning; let them not be forward in conversation, but be modest and retiring. Let them be quick to hear things that will profit the soul, and be slow to speak, unless it be to represent Jesus, and to witness to the truth. Show humility of mind by modesty of demeanor. Let your conversation be seasoned with grace. Educate the soul to cheerfulness, to thankfulness, and to the expression of gratitude to God for the great love wherewith he hath loved us, and thus adorn the doctrine of our Lord and Saviour in all things, at all places, and at all times. Glorify the Master by witnessing in your character to the work of the Holy Spirit upon your soul. Let Christ arise in the soul as a wellspring of life. Christian cheerfulness is the very beauty of holiness. Those who are rich in faith will make manifest the grace of Christ. Paul charges Timothy, saying: “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: if we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.... Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient; in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” YI July 11, 1895, par. 3

Mrs. E. G. White