Conversations at Christmas

220px-Lakhovsky_ConversationAt the 2008 Desiring God National Conference, Sinclair Ferguson preached the opening sermon: “The Tongue, the Bridle, and the Blessing” from James 3:1-12. In it he gives a list of resolutions, after the style of Jonathan Edwards, relating to how the Christian should speak. They are typed out below.

This Christmas, as you speak often with friends and family, think on these biblical principles and pray that they will help you live in a way that glorifies God. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly so that you cannot speak with any other accent.

1. I resolve to ask God for wisdom to speak out of a single minded devotion to Him. (1:5)
2. I resolve to boast only in the exultation I receive in Christ and also in the humiliation I receive for Jesus Christ. (1:9-10)
3. I resolve to set a watch over my mouth. (1:13)
4. I resolve to be constantly quick to hear and slow to speak. (1:19)
5. I resolve to learn the gospel way of speaking to both rich and poor. (2:1-4)
6. I resolve to speak in the present consciousness of my final judgment. (2:12)
7. I resolve never to stand on anyone’s face with the words I employ. (2:16)
8. I resolve never to claim as reality in my life what I do not truly experience. (3:14)
9. I resolve to resist quarrelsome words as evidences of a bad heart that needs to be mortified. (4:1)
10. I resolve never to speak decided evil of another out of a heart of antagonism. (4:11)
11. I resolve never to boast in anything I will accomplish. (4:13)
12. I resolve always to speak as one who is subject to the providences of God. (4:15)
13. I resolve never to grumble because I know that the Judge is listening at the door. (5:9)
14. I resolve to never allow anything but total integrity in everything I say. (5:12)
15. I resolve to speak to God in prayer whenever I suffer. (5:13)
16. I resolve to sing praises to God whenever I am cheerful. (5:14)
17. I resolve to ask for the prayers of others when I am in need. (5:14)
18. I resolve to confess it whenever I have failed. (5:15)
19. I resolve to pray for others with one another whenever I am with them. (5:15)
20. I resolve to speak words of restoration when I see another wander. (5:19)