Their Teaching Will Spread
I think it’s wise to never underestimate the power of the spoken word. Whether we realize it or not our words can spread to all kinds of places. Who knows what I’m talking about if I say “I have a dream”? Or “Ask not what your country can do for you”? These statements were made decades ago! Yet still they live on. That is the power of what we say. Perhaps what we say won’t spread nationally but there’s no doubt that some things that we say will be shared with others. Who knows something that your parents told you? Who has started a sentence “let me tell you what my dad used to say”? I’m telling you – our words live on. And that can be a good thing but it can also be a bad thing.
These is a certain kind of talk that Christians are told to avoid like the plague. Because it is a sort of plague. “Avoid godless chatter, because those indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene . . .” (2 Timothy 2:16-17). Some speech has no love of God in it. It is disrespectful to the people God made, it is against God’s Word, it doesn’t have love as its central value. This kind of talk we are to avoid. We are not to participate. Because the Word say this kind of talk will spread. We may think we’re just talking to a friend but it doesn’t stop there. Gossip, slander, unbiblical teaching . . .these things speak like a disease.
So instead of foolishness we should seek to speak wisdom. Because that too can spread. In fact we should be praying that wisdom spreads to every corner of the Earth: “Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you” (2 Thessalonians 3:1). For that to happen we need to pray to God. Then we need to speak the Word. I hope when your children or your neighbors are talking about what you always say they are repeating something from God’s Word. If our kids say “my dad always says we should love God” I will be delighted. Since what we speak spreads, be sure to speak what is right.