Converts Guide – By John Hames

Chapter 14

Beware of Jesting

“Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.” (Psalm 50:23)

Among the many beautiful thoughts springing from the life of our blessed Redeemer which greatly impress the writer is this: “He was a man of few words,” that is, He only spoke when it was necessary and profitable. This is one of the grandest victories that one can obtain on this side of the gates of pearl, namely, where one’s spirit is so subdued and his tongue under such control that he never jests, jokes, scolds, backbites, nor uses idle talk. This is the Scriptural standard of a Christian’s conversation. (Matt 12:36,37; Eph. 4:29; Eph. 5:4)

In the following lines I wish to submit to the new beginner a few suggestions on how to thus regulate his conversation.

1. By prayer and faith hold on to God until He not only cleanses out all jesting and joking, but also the inward tendency to use many words. An experience where your tongue will be under such control that you can keep quiet as easily as you can speak, where you can put the brakes on your conversation with ease, anywhere, everywhere and any time.

2. “Study to be quiet,” that is, be always on your guard to see, not how much, but how little you can have to say. And when in company and public gatherings, do not talk just to be considered a good entertainer. Jesus said, “By thy words thou shalt be justified and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matt. 12:37).

3. The most successful way to comply with the above rule is to continually practice the presence of God, ever remembering that, “He is the head of every house, the unseen guest at every meal, and the silent listener to every conversation.”

4. It would also be well to avoid mirthful gatherings, large crowds and big birthday suppers, etc., for these are strong weapons in the hands of the devil to destroy holy modesty, evenness of spirit and heavenly communion, and also tend to close our ears to the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit.

Many times in one hour’s conversation people tear down the rampart of holy modesty from around their soul which for years they had been erecting with prayer and tears.