In this Teen Bible Study Guide, we will discover the principles that God's Word gives on how we should and should not speak.
"I know I should not take God's name in vain, and I know I should not tell a lie because the Ten Commandments say not to do so. But does God care how I speak otherwise?" Has that question ever crossed your mind? Actually God's Word gives many principles about how we should and should not speak. This discussion guide will lead you to discover those principles.
Evidence from Scripture
Matthew:12:36 – "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment." (37) "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."
1. From these verses, how can we tell that God attaches great importance to our speech?
2. Why should we be concerned about our words?
3. What is an "idle word"?
Proverbs:18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
4. Explain how "death and life" are contained in the words we speak.
Psalm:19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.
Psalm:141:3 Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.
5. How concerned were men such as David and Solomon about their speech? What should our attitude be?
Proverbs:15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
6. Can you point to a biblical example or relate a personal experience as evidence of the validity of this proverb?
7. What is a "soft answer"? Why does such an answer "turn away wrath"?
Proverbs:15:2 The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly; but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.
8. How can you tell a wise person from a fool? What difference is there in their speech?
9. How does one use "knowledge rightly"? What does the statement mean?
Proverbs:15:4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
10. What is a "wholesome tongue"?
11. Why would a perverse tongue cause discouragement and depression?
Proverbs:15:23 A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!
12. Explain the meaning of this proverb. What's the lesson regarding our speech?
Proverbs:20:19 He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips.
13. What's so bad about gossip?
14. What's so bad about flattery?
Proverbs:25:15 By long forbearance a ruler is persuaded, and a gentle tongue breaks a bone.
15. Just how does a "gentle tongue break a bone"?
Ephesians:4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
16. What is "corrupt communication"?
17. How can our words build others up? What about when someone needs to be corrected?
18. What does it mean "impart grace"? How does our speech do that?
Ephesians:5:4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
Colossians:3:8 But now you must also put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.
19. What constitutes "foolish talking"? Can you give some examples?
20. What constitutes "coarse jesting"? Can you give an example?
21. What is "filthy language"? How do you define it? How would you recognize it? What are its characteristics?
1. Summarize what God tells us about how we are to speak. What does "love" have to do with it?
2. What do your peers believe about speech? Do they watch their words? Why or why not? Do they look for principles to guide their speech? Do they use "filthy language," "coarse jesting," etc.?
3. What do you now believe after this study? Do you think it is important to consider how you speak? Do you see wisdom in the counsel the Bible gives?