Return to main index

H4. Using Our Speech, Minds, Hearts and Actions for That which Is Good and Holy.    [Make a Comment]

We are to use our speech, minds, hearts and actions for that which is good and holy.

This precept is derived from His Word (blessed be He):

Key Scriptures


Psalm 34:2-3(1-2)
I will bless ADONAI at all times; his praise will always be in my mouth. When I boast, it will be about ADONAI; the humble will hear of it and be glad.

Proverbs 10:11a
The speech of the righteous is a fountain of life ...

Proverbs 12:17a
He who tells the truth furthers justice ...

Matthew 15:18-20
But what comes out of your mouth is actually coming from your heart, and that is what makes a person unclean. For out of the heart come forth wicked thoughts, murder, adultery and other kinds of sexual immorality, theft, lies, slanders ... These are what really make a person unclean, but eating without doing n'tilat-yadayim does not make a person unclean.

Ephesians 4:29
Let no harmful language come from your mouth, only good words that are helpful in meeting the need, words that will benefit those who hear them.

Colossians 3:17
That is, everything you do or say, do in the name of the Lord Yeshua, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

Titus 2:7b-8
When you are teaching, have integrity and be serious; let everything you say be so wholesome that an opponent will be put to shame because he will have nothing bad to say about us.


Deuteronomy 6:5
... and you are to love ADONAI your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources.

Romans 12:2
In other words, do not let yourselves be conformed to the standards of the 'olam hazeh. Instead, keep letting yourselves be transformed by the renewing of your minds; so that you will know what God wants and will agree that what he wants is good, satisfying and able to succeed.

Philippians 4:8
In conclusion, brothers, focus your thoughts on what is true, noble, righteous, pure, lovable or admirable, on some virtue or on something praiseworthy.

Colossians 3:2-3
Focus your minds on the things above, not on things here on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God.

1 Peter 1:13
Therefore, get your minds ready for work, keep yourselves under control, and fix your hopes fully on the gift you will receive when Yeshua the Messiah is revealed.


Exodus 20:1-12
Then God said all these words: "I am ADONAI your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the abode of slavery. You are to have no other gods before me. You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline. You are not to bow down to them or serve them; for I, ADONAI your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sins of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but displaying grace to the thousandth generation of those who love me and obey my mitzvot. You are not to use lightly the name of ADONAI your God, because ADONAI will not leave unpunished someone who uses his name lightly. Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God. You have six days to labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Shabbat for ADONAI your God. On it, you are not to do any kind of work - not you, your son or your daughter, not your male or female slave, not your livestock, and not the foreigner staying with you inside the gates to your property. For in six days, ADONAI made heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. This is why ADONAI blessed the day, Shabbat, and separated it for himself. Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land which ADONAI your God is giving you."

Isaiah 1:17
Learn to do good! Seek justice, relieve the oppressed, defend orphans, plead for the widow.

Psalm 37:3-4
Trust in ADONAI, and do good; settle in the land, and feed on faithfulness. Then you will delight yourself in ADONAI, and he will give you your heart's desire.

Psalm 37:27
If you turn from evil and do good, you will live safely forever.

Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they may see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.

1 Corinthians 16:14
Let everything you do be done in love.

Galatians 5:14
For the whole of the Torah is summed up in this one sentence: "Love your neighbor as yourself"

Supportive Scriptures - Our Speech

Ecclesiastes 7:21-22
Also, don't take seriously every word spoken, such as when you hear your servant speaking badly of you; because often, as you yourself know, you have spoken badly of others.

Matthew 6:9
You, therefore, pray like this: 'Our Father in heaven! May your Name be kept holy.'

Mark 7:15-23
There is nothing outside a person which, by going into him, can make him unclean. Rather, it is the things that come out of a person which make a person unclean!" When he had left the people and entered the house, his talmidim asked him about the parable. He replied to them, "So you too are without understanding? Don't you see that nothing going into a person from outside can make him unclean? For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and it passes out into the latrine." (Thus he declared all foods ritually clean.) "It is what comes out of a person," he went on, "that makes him unclean. For from within, out of a person's heart, come forth wicked thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, arrogance, foolishness ... All these wicked things come from within, and they make a person unclean.

Romans 10:8-9
What, then, does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart." - that is, the word about trust which we proclaim, namely, that if you acknowledge publicly with your mouth that Yeshua is Lord and trust in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be delivered.

Colossians 4:2
Keep persisting in prayer, staying alert in it and being thankful.

1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, the King's cohanim, a holy nation, a people for God to possess! Why? In order for you to declare the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Supportive Scriptures - Our Minds & Hearts

2 Corinthians 10:4b-5
We demolish arguments and every arrogance that raises itself up against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey the Messiah.

Philippians 2:5
Let your attitude toward one another be governed by your being in union with the Messiah Yeshua

Supportive Scriptures - Our Actions

Proverbs 3:27
Don't withhold good from someone entitled to it when you have in hand the power to do it.

Luke 10:26-28
But Yeshua said to him, "What is written in the Torah? How do you read it?" He answered, "You are to love ADONAI your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your understanding; and your neighbor as yourself." "That's the right answer," Yeshua said. "Do this, and you will have life."

Romans 2:7
To those who seek glory, honor and immortality by perseverance in doing good, he will pay back eternal life.

2 Corinthians 5:9-10
Therefore, whether at home or away from home, we try our utmost to please him; for we must all appear before the Messiah's court of judgment, where everyone will receive the good or bad consequences of what he did while he was in the body.

Galatians 6:9
So let us not grow weary of doing what is good; for if we don't give up, we will in due time reap the harvest.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are of God's making, created in union with the Messiah Yeshua for a life of good actions already prepared by God for us to do.

Colossians 3:17
That is, everything you do or say, do in the name of the Lord Yeshua, giving hanks through him to God the Father.

2 Thessalonians 3:13
And you brothers who are doing what is good, don't slack off!

2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living; thus anyone who belongs to God may be fully equipped for every good work.

Titus 2:6-7
Similarly, urge the young men to be self-controlled, and in everything set them an example yourself by doing what is good.

Hebrews 10:24
And let us keep paying attention to one another, in order to spur each other on to love and good deeds ...

Hebrews 13:16
But don't forget doing good and sharing with others, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

James 2:14-17 & 26
What good is it, my brothers, if someone claims to have faith but has no actions to prove it? Is such "faith" able to save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food, and someone says to him, "Shalom! Keep warm and eat hearty!" without giving him what he needs, what good does it do? Thus, faith by itself, unaccompanied by actions, is dead ... Indeed, just as the body without a spirit is dead, so too faith without actions is dead.


This "positive" Mitzvah on "directing our speech, thoughts and actions to that which is good and holy" is a companion to a "negative" Mitzvah that "we are not to wrong one another through our speech." While the compilations of rabbinical commentators list many of the positive and negative elements of this Mitzvah, the weight of Scripture (that we should use every aspect of our being for good) suggests that this Mitzvah be written to combine them.

This Mitzvah quotes a goodly number of Scriptures that reference how we are to use (and not use) speech and actions, but I want to also address what might seem (at first) to be opposite, which is holding back on speech, or remaining silent. Proverbs 18:21 says that speech has power, but silence also has power, as we read in Isaiah 53:7, a prophecy of Yeshua's use of silence in the final hours of his life:

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.

Here are some other Scriptures that suggest times when there is wisdom and virtue in being slow to speak or in remaining silent:

Exodus 14:14 (NIV):   The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Psalm 37:7a:   Be still before ADONAI; wait patiently till he comes.

Proverbs 11:12:   He who belittles another lacks good sense, whereas a person of discernment stays silent.

Proverbs 13:13:   He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but one who talks too much comes to ruin.

Proverbs 17:28:   Even a fool, if he stays silent, is thought wise; he who keeps his mouth shut can pass for smart.

James 1:19:   Therefore, my dear brothers, let every person be quick to listen but slow to speak, slow to get angry

Classical Commentators

Maimonides, Meir, and HaChinuch list mitzvot that include the components of this one, such as their mitzvot to love God (RP3, MP3, C418), not murder (RN289, MN32, C34), and not to steal (RN244, MN34, C224).


Return to main index