God has not given talents capriciously. He who knows all things, who is acquainted with each one, has given to every person his or her work. Those to whom He has entrusted much are not to boast, for what they possess is not their own; it is lent them on trial; and the greater the endowment, the greater the returns required. Day by day God is testing men and women, to see whether they will acknowledge Him as the giver of all that they have. He watches to see whether they will prove themselves worthy of eternal riches. The use they make of their precious endowments decides their destiny for eternity. 

Of all the gifts that God has bestowed upon His children, none is capable of being a greater blessing than the gift of speech. With the tongue we convince and persuade; with it we offer prayer and praise to God; and with it we tell others of the Redeemer’s love. God would have us consecrate this gift to His service, speaking only such words as will help those around us. And if Christ rules in our hearts, our words will reveal the purity, beauty, and fragrance of a character molded and fashioned by Him. But if we are under the guidance of the enemy of all good, our words will echo his sentiments. Watch well your words. Consecrate your gift of speech to the Lord’s service; for He will one day require it at your hands.

Every one of us exerts an influence on those with whom we come in contact. This influence we have from God, and we are responsible for the way it is used. God designs that it shall tell on the side of right; but it rests with each one of us to decide whether our influence shall be pure and elevating, or whether it shall act as a poisonous malaria. Those who are partakers of the divine nature exert an influence that is Christlike. Holy angels attend them on their way, and all with whom they come in contact are helped and blessed. But those who do not receive Christ as their personal Savior cannot influence others for good. . . . Such lose all hope of eternal life themselves, and by their example lead others astray. Guard well your influence; it is “your reasonable service” to place it on the Lord’s side.

This article is excerpted from the book To Be Like Jesus, p. 94, by Ellen G. White.