Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

The Destructive Power Of The Tongue

Proverbs 10:19; 11:13; 12:18; 16:28; 17:27; 29:20 – 19 When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. 13 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered. 18 There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. 28 A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends. 27 Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. 20 Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

THEME OF THE DAY: THE DESTRUCTIVE POWER OF THE TONGUE. Today’s scriptures are six samplings from the book of Proverbs concerning the use of our tongue or speech. Take a few moments to reread them, and then come back. Below are my paraphrases of each one.

Proverbs 10:19 – If a person is a Mr., Mrs., or Ms. Talkative always having to voice an opinion, have input, or dominate a conversation, be aware sin will occur and that in abundance. Many words = many sins.
Proverbs 11:13 – A person given intimate issues from a friend in confidence, and breaks that confidence, is a slanderer proving disingenuous, lacking love, and not worthy of trust.
Proverbs 12:18 – An individual who is impulsive in the use of speech, knowing no constraint, and prone just to let words fly in heated moments will inflict deep inward pain to the recipient by such lack of control.
Proverbs 16:28 – A believer who finds it easy to gossip of another person, perhaps taking a side against another without having the information from the other side, will ruin relationships and cause disunity.
Proverbs 17:27 – The Christian who has learned to keep his or her words few and listen more in conversations than talk will be considered mature in knowledge and understanding.

Our Bibles tell us a lot about the tongue or our speech. In addition to prayer, nothing more will give us a more accurate assessment of our spiritual walk with the Lord. The old WWII saying, “Looses lips sink ships” might be adapted to the Christian life – “Loose lips sink human spirits.” More harm is done in the body of Christ by “loose” lips than perhaps any other sin. The damage done by gossiping, slandering, and using unedifying speech about another Christian is severe. Oh, the sins we commit against one another may be forgiven, but a ton of grace and time will be necessary to restore the trust and confidence once enjoyed between the two parties. As serious the pain is when our tongues speak ill of another Christian by making assumptions or passing assumed truths in conversations about them, the real damage is to the one committing these heinous sins. The tongue is a powerful weapon of good or evil. Should a Christian lack control, easily cutting down, speaking ill of, about or to another believer, rest assured severe discipline will come from the Lord. To hurt one of His sheep by sharp words is to bring great displeasure to the Chief Shepherd and great chastisement to His sinning child. And how will the Lord deal with us who are guilty of such sins against another believer? One way is a withholding of sweet fellowship with Him. When He does this, we will experience no joy, no peace, no contentment, no delight in the Word read, no hunger for the Word preached, no relational prayer life, no passion for Christ, and no burden for the lost. We will have all the outward looks of a Christian but no inward realities of being a Christian. And all this spiritual pain because of the unedifying use of our tongue in speaking to or of another sheep in Jesus’ flock.

Take time soon and do some self-evaluation of our speech. When we are in conversations with other Christians, and a name of another believer not present is brought up, what is the language like? Is it uplifting and edifying? Or is it hurtful and cutting? And what about when we simply talk to one another? Are we sincere and loving in our words looking for things to say that are centered on the person we are talking to and encouraging? The tongue . . . it has tremendous power both for good or destruction. And we are responsible for the direction our tongue goes in all our conversations.

PRAYER: “Father, please put a guard on my heart that will put a guard on my tongue.”

QUOTE: “The damage by slander, gossip, and unedifying speech toward another believer may be irreparable in this life”.