Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit ~Proverbs 18:21 NKJV
Have you ever suffered from “Foot in the Mouth” disease? Most of us have. We’ve all been guilty of a snappy response, a harsh tone, a comment based on self-serving jealousy, or a judgment based on assumptions instead of the facts. If you stay up on the daily news, politics or skim through social media posts, you know just how bad the dreaded “foot in the mouth” epidemic is in our society.
As a boy when one of us kids started saying rude or offensive statements someone would emphatically say, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Unfortunately, we didn’t know what we were saying. The truth is that words do hurt. In fact, many times they leave wounds that fester long after physical bruises have healed.
Solomon, the wise, ancient King of Israel, stated that death and life are in the power of the tongue. We cannot afford to take our words for granted. They hold weight. With our words we can deflate, defame, or discourage those whom God places in our path. Or we can choose to use our words to enrich, encourage and enhance.
God has a lot to say to us about using wisdom with our words. Here are some of my favorites taken from the Book of Proverbs in the Bible:
- The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions ~Proverbs 10: 11 NLT
- Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut ~Proverbs 10: 19 NLT
(Hmmm. Do you ever wonder what the Bible is trying to say? I believe this verse is pretty self explanatory.)
- Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything ~Proverbs 13: 3 NLT
- A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare ~ Proverbs 15: 1 NLT
(This would be a great verse for all married couples to place on the bathroom mirror!)
- The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words ~Proverbs 15: 28 NLT
- Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish ~Proverbs 18: 13 NLT
- Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble ~Proverbs 21:23 NLT
- There is more hope for a fool than for someone who speaks without thinking ~Proverbs 29:20 NLT
The Big Take-Away
So do we use our words to speak life?
- Think before we speak, write, text, post….
There is a great principle from Scripture to apply here. It is found in the book of James. It says, “…be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry” ~James 1:19
- Check our Heart
Jesus said, ” but those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.” ~Matthew 15: 18 NKJV
You can watch the sermon now where I dealt with this important subject!
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/167120447″>"Life and Death" May 15, 2016</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/yourconnectionpoint”>ConnectionPoint Church</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>