“Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A book of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name” (Malachi 3:16).
Here, both walking and talking are shown as important. First we see it was those who “feared the Lord” who were getting God’s attention. Although it is possible to fear God and not obey Him, that is obviously not the situation here. Proper fear of God, as the Bible clearly shows, does not involve cringing fear of punishment, but positive loving obedience – as was obviously the case where the names of these people were being written in a “scroll of remembrance” (and see Malachi 3:17-18). But beyond the obedience that was clearly involved here, we see that what had caught God’s attention was the fact that these people talked with each other. The context of this verse indicates that this was not just talk regarding some topic of physical interest, but talk regarding aspects of the walk with God in which these people were engaged.
In its broadest sense, the talking with fellow believers mentioned in Malachi means not only talk which relates to biblical issues and principles in the abstract, but also talk which is based on the love of our neighbor – taking an active interest in the members of our spiritual family, finding out about them, getting to know their needs and encouraging them. That’s the kind of talk which shows both love of God and of our neighbor. If these things are regularly a significant part of our conversation with those with whom we fellowship, then we can be confident that we are “talking the talk.”