Probing Proverbs 10:31-32 The mouth of the godly person gives wise advice, but the tongue that deceives will be cut off. The lips of the godly speak helpful words, but the mouth of the wicked speaks perverse words.
Words can impact us in many ways; they can produce anger, sorrow, excitement, etc. I like how words can make us laugh, take these two stories written by little girls:
A little girl was once asked by her school-teacher to write a short paragraph about "Why women out number men in the world". She labored carefully over the assignment, concentrating with all her might. This was the result: "God made Adam first. When he had finished, he looked at him and said to himself, `Well, I think I could do better than that if I tried again.' So then he made Eve. And God liked Eve so much better than Adam that he has been making more women than men ever since."
A six-year old girl wrote this little essay: People are composed of girls and boys, also of men and women. Boys are no good at all until they grow up and get married. Men who don't get married are no good either. Boys are an awful bother. They want everything they see except soap. My mother is a woman and my father is such a nice man that I think he must have been a girl when he was a boy."
This Proverb is speaking about how the heart guides what comes out of our mouth. Last Devo, I began to look at facts about the Tongue. I looked at one issue:
· 1. 30 seconds to destroy a lifetime testimony In less than a moment, your tongue can bring into question your entire life’s testimony! That should give us pause before we speak.
I want to share 3 more truths concerning our tongue.
· 2. The tongue is the window of your character!
James 3:6-12 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
Notice – Scriptures point out the obvious hypocrisy of men praising God yet cursing each other with the same tongue! Our words will expose the condition of our heart.
· 3. Your tongue can reap more than it sows!
1 Peter 3:10 For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.
The news is full of stories where terrible things have happened; fights, injuries and even death, all started by words! We may believe that we will only cause a little pain by what we say, but very quickly things can get out of control and you will reap far more from your ill spoken words then you had anticipated.
Proverbs 26:20 Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.
With your words you can either make someone feel better, like a cozy campfire or your words can start a forest fire that wreaks much destruction!
A great lesson on this danger is found in Judges 12. The men of Ephraim say some very harsh things about Jephthah and the men of Gilead.
Jud 12: 4 Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought Ephraim; and the men of Gilead defeated Ephraim, because they said, “You are fugitives of Ephraim, O Gileadites, in the midst of Ephraim and in the midst of Manasseh.”
The Tongue of Ephraim began a war, but even more interesting was that in the end, it was their tongue that betrayed them!
Jud 12:5-7 The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan opposite Ephraim. And it happened when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, “Let me cross over,” the men of Gilead would say to him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he said, “No,” then they would say to him, “Say now, ‘Shibboleth.’ ” But he said, “Sibboleth,” for he could not pronounce it correctly. Then they seized him and slew him at the fords of the Jordan. Thus there fell at that time 42,000 of Ephraim.
Do you have people in your life that can share with you what your words show about your heart? This is why discipleship is so essential. Honest accountability is the most effective way to tame the tongue!