“Its fruit discloses the cultivation of a tree; so a person’s speech discloses the cultivation of the mind” (Sirach 27:6)
Our words and actions are a true index of character. Action flows from what we are. As our lives and thinking are fashioned, we will act. Crime is not overcome by arrest and incarceration but by formation in values. The home, as the most formative element in our lives, will always retain its primary importance. We can expect the disintegration of moral and social values when parents abdicate their responsibility for formation.
Speech is one of the most powerful tools for good or ill. We hardly realize all that it discloses. To experience the tragic loss of speech through illness, with all its attendant frustrations, makes us aware of how vital this avenue of communication is. God chose to reveal himself through human language. Jesus taught in words, and that teaching was captured by writers in word. The scriptural languages – Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek – are the language of God. Jesus Himself, God’s Word, is the incarnate language of God. Speech is essentially revelatory. It is a window on the soul. It can reveal courage, honesty, gentleness, and thoughtfulness, or it can reveal cowardice, duplicity, irreverence, lust and deception. A physically unimpressive person after a ten minute conversation becomes an inspiration. Contrariwise, a very striking and attractive person reveals in the same length of time that looks are not everything. Our words and deeds can lead others astray, or they can elevate the human spirit. That is no small responsibility.