Let no corrupt communication come out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
MARY WINSLOW (1774-1854): I wish to caution you against a great evil in many churches; I allude to gossiping professors, who, when they meet, instead of talking of Christ, talk about almost everything else.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): There are so many people who may be described as spiritual worldlings…There are people whose real and ultimate interest is in their particular church, not in Christian salvation, not in the Lord at all. They like the church, they like the people, they have been brought up in that atmosphere, and that is the thing that really holds them—that particular church, that particular denomination, or that particular alignment of people. Again it is always revealed by their talk. You will find that they are greatly interested when you talk about the organization, or the people, or the preacher, but that they become strangely silent if you try to have a spiritual talk with them about their soul or about the Lord.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): “There is news in the paper,” says one. That news is often of small importance to our hearts.
JOHN ROBINSON (1575-1625): He that takes up the time, especially of wise and godly men being in the company, with unprofitable [or] ungodly speech, besides the account of which “he must give to God for every vain word,” Matthew 12:36―that is, for every word not in some way or other profitable―greatly wrongs the whole company, in hindering the speaking and hearing of better things by his vanities; which are like ill humours filling the stomach, and taking from it both appetite of, and benefit by better meat. “Let not thy speech,” saith one, “be vain, but such as serves either to counsel, or to persuade, or to comfort, or to direct.”
MARY WINSLOW: I rather decline much intercourse with worldly people.
JAMES DURHAM (1622-1658): A believer’s words tend to edification, and are for the true benefit and advantage of others. Every subject is not the matter of their discourse; but, as the “honey”, it is excellent and choice, and that which ministereth grace to the hearers…Christ’s Spouse should be observably different, as to her words and discourse, from all others; “Thy lips, O my Spouse” (saith He) “drop as the honey-comb,” Song of Solomon 4:11, implying, that whatever be the way of others, it becomes the Spouse of Christ, to have her words seasonable, savoury, and edifying.
C. H. SPURGEON: Heaven will consist largely in the communion of saints, and if we would enjoy heaven below we must carry out the words of the creed in our practice,—“I believe in the communion of saints.”
There should be among those who are children of the common Father a mutual love, and they should show this by frequent commerce in their precious things, making a sacred barter with one another. I like to hear them making sacred exchanges: one mentioning his trials, another quoting his deliverances; one telling how God has answered prayer, and another recording how the word of God has come to him with power. Such converse ought to be as usual as the talk of children of one family…I know some Christians whose lips feed many. I could mention brethren and sisters who drop pearls from their lips whenever they speak. We have still among us Chrysostoms, or ‘men of golden mouths’; you cannot be with them for half an hour without being enriched. Their anointing is manifest, for it spreads to all around them. When the Spirit of God makes our communications sweet, then the more of them the better.
HENRY VENN (1724-1797): Be therefore deliberate, and very discreet in your choice of company. Always say to yourself: “Do I find either reproof, or exhortation, or comfort, or instruction in the great things of God, from their company?”
JOHN BUNYAN (1628-1688): Keep company with the soundest Christians that have the most experience of Christ.
MARY WINSLOW: Avoid trifling, lukewarm professors. They are the bane of the Church. If you can do them no good, they will do you much harm.
JOHN WESLEY (1703-1791): [Sunday, September 2, 1759] I preached at the Tabernacle in Norwich to a large, rude, noisy congregation―and determined to mend them or end them. Accordingly, the next evening, after sermon, I reminded them of two things: the one, that it was not decent to begin talking aloud as soon as service was ended; and hurrying to and fro…The other, that it was a bad custom to gather into knots just after sermon, and turn a place of worship into a coffee house.
JOHN ANGELL JAMES (1785-1869): Better, far better, not to speak at all, but go home in silence, than to enter upon all kinds of general conversation as soon as the service is over.