“There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health.” Proverbs 12:18
“There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health.”
Solomon in his Proverbs included many ways we use our words recklessly such as through gossip, lying or deceiving others, speaking in anger, speaking selfishly or pridefully, complaining, foul language or swearing, abusive words. As Christians, who follow Jesus and are filled with the Holy Spirit, what comes out of our mouth should reflect our faith.
Yet unfortunately this is not always true, our mouth tends to run off and get us in trouble. Jesus told us that the real problem is not with our mouth, it is with our heart, “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34).” If we’re having problems controlling our mouth, it’s because something is wrong in our heart. We have a heart problem.
What kind of words have we been using, especially with our spouse, children, family, friends, co workers? Do our words reflect our faith? Do they reflect Jesus? Do they bring life and healing? Do they encourage and build up? Or do they cut like a sword and criticize, tear down, and injure?
The reason we have difficulty controlling the words from our mouths is not so much a problem with our mouth as it is our heart. Jesus said our words will naturally follow what is in our heart: a heart filled with love will speak words of love that lift up and encourage others. Hearts filled with darkness will speak words of gossip, lies, anger, self centeredness, boasting-bragging, put- downs, complaining, and swearing.
Reckless words don’t just happen; they come from a heart which is in need of healing. They come from a heart which needs to be touched by God because only God through Jesus Christ can change a heart. We cannot change our heart on our own, it is changed only by the supernatural work of God.
Sticks and stones inflict wounds that usually heal in time. But words can go much deeper and cause pain that lasts a lifetime. Such words as “I don’t love you,” “You are a failure,” and “You’re no good” can do permanent damage. Some people have been so deeply wounded that they are unable to accept words such as “I love you,” “You’re special,” and “I appreciate you.”
The book of Proverbs urges us to watch our words (12:17-22; 15:4; 26:2). We ought to pray with the psalmist, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.
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