Posts Tagged ‘death and life are in the power of the tongue’


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 18:20 From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled: with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied. 

Do you want to be happy and successful? You can be! Here is wisdom to find fulfillment and peace in life: learn to talk better (Pr 18:21). The proverb has many figures of speech, but the lesson is simple. If you will improve your speaking, you will be blessed in many ways by God, by others, and even by your own soul (Pr 14:14). Grasp this wisdom!

Your belly here is your heart, soul, spirit, and conscience (Pr 13:25; 18:8; 20:27,30). They are fulfilled and satisfied, when you speak well (Pr 15:23). The fruit of your mouth is gracious and wise words, which is the good trait of speaking correctly (Pr 16:13; 22:11; 24:26; 25:11). You can give yourself pleasure by noble speech. Kind and good words help listeners for sure, but they also bring rewards to the speaker (Pr 12:14; 13:2).

The increase of your lips in this proverb is the improvement that you make to your speech by learning the rules of wisdom for the tongue and lips (Pr 15:28; 16:23). Solomon had much to say on this subject, and you can increase the sweetness and value of your speech by ruling your words for the glory of God and profit of man. This increase, like the fruit in the first clause, will bring blessing, honor, and riches into your life.

How many times have you later said to yourself, “Why did I say that?” If you have a conscience (all good men have strong consciences), then you have grieved for foolish or hurtful words you let escape from your mouth. It is this frustrating pain in life that you can eliminate by learning gracious speech. Solomon knew the chance of sin increased with much speaking, so he recommended fewer words (Pr 10:19; 17:27-28; Eccl 5:1-3). This saying is wise: If you cannot say anything kind and helpful, then say nothing at all.

How many times have others said, “Why did she say that?” Have you left others bleeding from the piercing of the sword in your mouth (Pr 12:18)? Your tongue is for the health and wealth of others, but you often leave them angered, grieving, or confused. Sometimes they tell you about it; most of the time they just suffer in silence. When you find out the pain and damage you have caused, it is a burden on your soul. It is your wisdom and honor to learn words that encourage and instruct others (Pr 10:20-21; 16:24).

God gave you a tongue for more than swallowing food. He named it your glory (Ps 30:12; 108:1). By proper use it can glorify God. You can be a tree of life to others by helpful and encouraging speech (Pr 15:4; Eph 4:29). The person who graciously teaches truth and wisdom to others is rare and precious (Neh 8:12; Luke 24:32; Acts 8:26-35). You can become this person by learning the book of Proverbs (Pr 1:1-4; 22:17-21).

Is it easy to change your speech habits? It is easier to train a cobra to sip milk from a bowl and purr on your lap (Jas 3:1-12). But God gave you Proverbs. Guard your speech. Cut your words in half. Think before you speak. Rule your spirit. Love graciousness. Make every word helpful and kind. Despise harshness. Hate talebearing. Purify your thoughts. Reject foolish indiscretions. Work harder at listening. Build others up.

Does your conscience grieve you when you speak foolishly? It should! It does, if you are a good man with an active conscience. But what will you feel in the Day of Judgment, when you must give an account for every idle word to the Lord of glory (Matt 12:34-37)? No wonder Isaiah cried out in grief about his unclean speech in God’s presence (Is 6:1-7). You can have rejoicing in yourself, regardless of what others think, by good speech (Gal 6:4). You can be satisfied and filled by wise and virtuous speech. God bless your efforts.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 14:3 A fool’s talk brings a rod to his back, but the lips of the wise protect them.

Is your speech mostly arrogant or gracious? All speech falls somewhere between these two extremes. Where does your speech fall? Does your speech tend toward being gracious and kind at all times? Or does it tend toward being arrogant and hurtful at times?

Here is one of the problems – you are not a good judge of your speech. Only others can accurately tell whether you are haughty or kind in your words. All men want to justify the way they speak, but it is the hearers that feel either irritated or blessed by your words.

There are consequences to pay for your speech. Harsh and proud speech brings punishment and trouble from God and men; discreet and gracious speech brings blessing and safety from God and men. Can you rule your mouth to protect yourself from trouble?

How you use your tongue, one of the most difficult things to rule, dictates how you are treated in life. Both death and life are in the power of the tongue, and if you indulge yourself in talking, you will realize one or the other result (Pr 18:21). Solomon warned often about the consequences of speech (Pr 10:20,31; 15:2; 21:23; 26:28; Eccl 10:12-14).

What is this rod of pride in the mouths of fools? It is a metaphor describing how the proud speech of a fool hurts others and himself. His tongue becomes a weapon for pain (Job 5:21; Jas 3:9-12). A fool cannot control his proud speech, and it causes others and him grief wherever he goes (Pr 12:18; 13:10; 14:16; 18:6-7,21; 21:24; 28:25; 29:20).

But a wise man is preserved and honored by his tongue. He uses speech for the good of others, and they love him for it (Pr 15:4,23; 24:26; 25:11-12). His gracious and kind words win the blessing and favor of others (Pr 11:16; 22:11; 31:26). He preserves his soul from much grief by wisely dealing with those around him (Pr 6:1-5; 12:13; 15:1; 18:7).

When a fool talks proudly with his mouth, the pride in his words causes others to dislike and resent him. He loses friends and relationships, but in his ignorance does not know why. When a wise man graciously and humbly denigrates himself to always advance others, they respond with affection and appreciation. He gains in friends and honor.

Do you know where your speech falls between arrogance and grace? Since your heart is deceitful above all things, you are a poor judge (Jer 17:9; Ps 19:12). Since men are prone to excuse their own faults, you must accept the judgment of others. Do others think you biting, harsh, proud, or sarcastic? Or do others think you gentle, kind, edifying, or meek? You must crush even the smell of pride in your heart to have acceptable speech (Pr 16:5).

The word of God is plain here. Corrupt speech is to be replaced with gracious and edifying speech (Eph 4:29). Bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking, and malice are to be replaced with kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness (Eph 4:31-32). Your speech is to always be gracious, allowing room for only a little salty seasoning (Col 4:6).

The Lord Jesus Christ spoke with the purest grace ever (Ps 45:2; Luke 4:22). Even officers sent by the Jews to apprehend Him could not believe His excellent speech (John 7:45-46). The wisdom from heaven is distinctly different from the wisdom of hell, and both kinds are evidenced in the heart attitude and speech of men (Jas 3:14-18). Let the wisdom of this proverb dramatically turn your speech today from pride to graciousness.