One day after attending a church service in London, I spent several hours going through bookshops looking for a bible translation called The Living Bible. There were no Amazon or Internet editions in those days, so I just had to go from shop to shop.
The reason I was looking so determinedly for this translation was because of something that had been preached that morning about the meaning of Matthew 12:35 (based on this translation):
“A good man’s speech reveals the rich treasures within him. An evil-hearted man is filled with venom, and his speech reveals it.”
Verse 36, shows us that “words” can be “good or evil treasure,” and they come out of the way you speak or express yourself on any issue.
“. . .The most important part of your life is actually the ability to use words. Words define your life; words define your values. Words define your personality. You are no better than your words; you are no greater than your words. The character of your words is the character of your personality: watch your words.
No man ever got better than his or her words. Your life is the expression, the manifestation, the reflection, of your words. It does not take long to know who you are. All you have to do is talk for a few minutes; this is because your words locate you; they tell where you are at. . .”
This is an extract from the church sermon that led me to search for that bible translation.
How do you speak?
Would others describe you as “evil-hearted” or “good-hearted” because of the choice of words that you use when you speak?
Ever since I read this amazing scripture, I’ve trained myself never to use bad language. I can say everything I ever need to say without piling on insults, and without denigrating the other person.
The Tentmaker saw a man’s heart like a vessel, containing words that are then poured out when the person speaks. That is why King Solomon warned, “Guard what comes out of your heart (through your mouth) because the heart contains the “issues of life” (my paraphrase).
Friends, it matters how you speak. It matters how you express yourself. And this has nothing to do with your religion. You will always get better results if you speak nicely to others, even when you disagree with them totally.
My prayer for you is that you may have a peaceful and prosperous 2016.
# It’s your time, seize it!
Strive Masiyiwa is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet, a diversified global telecommunications group with operations and investments in over 15 countries. His business interests also include renewable energy, financial services, media and hospitality. Masiyiwa serves on a number of international boards, including Unilever, Rockefeller Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Advisory Board, the Africa Progress Panel, the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board for Sustainable Energy, Morehouse College, Hilton Foundation's Humanitarian Prize Jury and the Kenjin-Tatsujin International Advisory Council. He is one of the founders, with Sir Richard Branson, of the global think tank, the Carbon War Room, and a founding member of the Global Business Coalition on Education. Masiyiwa took over the Chairmanship of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) from Kofi Annan. He is also Chair of the Micronutrient Initiative, a global organization focused on ending child hunger and improving nutrition. In 2012, Masiyiwa was invited by President Obama to address leaders at the Camp David G-8 Summit on how to increase food production and end hunger in parts of Africa. In 2014, Masiyiwa was selected to Fortune Magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”. As a philanthropist, he is a member of the Giving Pledge, and his contributions to education, health and development have been widely recognized. Masiyiwa and his wife finance the Higher Life Foundation, which provides scholarships to over 42,000 African orphans. In 2015, he was the recipient of the International Rescue Committee’s Freedom Award and was presented with a UN Foundation Global Leadership Award for the work of the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust, which he chairs and helped establish to fund the deployment of African healthcare workers to combat the outbreak in West Africa.View all posts by Strive Masiyiwa