THE POWER OF YOUR TONGUE
Date: August 3
Category: Godly Character
Proverbs 17:27, Proverbs 18:20-21
"He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding has a cool spirit. Even a fool when he holds his peace is considered wise; when he closes his lips he is esteemed a man of understanding."
"A man's [moral] self shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth; and with the consequence of his words he must be satisfied [whether good or evil]. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]."
These are very powerful verses! There is so much to learn about the power of your tongue. We learn a great truth about our tongue and about the task that each and every one of us has to master. We all have to know the power of our words and know how to use our tongue to bless and not tear down. Actually there is another verse in the Scriptures that confirms this. In James 3:5 we read, "Even so the tongue is a little member, and it can boast of great things. See how much wood or how great a forest a tiny spark can set ablaze!" So the tongue has tremendous power to either build or to destroy.
Here it says in Proverbs 17:27a, "He who has knowledge spares his words…" In other words, a person who has knowledge doesn't talk a lot. He weighs his words. He thinks about the effect his words will bring. Then he makes a wise decision about what words to speak. Also, if he's not talking much, then it means he must be listening. That's why he is a man who has knowledge. I believe that God created us with two ears and only one mouth because He wants us to listen twice as much than what we speak. The second part of verse 27 says, "and a man of understanding has a cool spirit." A man who has a cool spirit is a man who is not hot-tempered. Not only should we avoid being hot-tempered, but we should also avoid friendships with such people. We shouldn't be friends with people who don't think before they speak and act.
Then it says in verse 28a, "Even a fool when he holds his peace is considered wise…" So even a fool who doesn't speak much is thought to be wise. There is something to be said about closing our lips and holding our peace. That is so much better than being hot-tempered, being easily angered, and making poor decisions because of that anger. Even in marriage, it's important to be quiet. In marriage, arguments often begin because of a misunderstanding. Sometimes one spouse has already built an idea in his/her mind about what the other person is thinking or feeling. Sometimes it may be an inaccurate perception. That's why it's better to have a calm spirit and talk through your arguments with carefully chosen words. That's in any situation in life. A person of understanding and knowledge is a person who listens to others.
Then it says in Proverbs 18:20 that once a man starts talking, then he "shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth." In other words, our words are seeds. When we speak them out, we are planting those seeds. Eventually those seeds will produce a fruit, and eventually we will have to eat of that fruit. The rest of verse 20 says, "and with the consequence of his words he must be satisfied [whether good or evil]." So if we plant good seeds, then we'll reap a good fruit. If we plant evil seeds, then we'll reap an evil fruit. But regardless of whether the fruit is evil or good, we must be satisfied with them, meaning we must deal with the consequences of our words. That's why we have to be careful of the words we speak. If you don't like the fruit that you are reaping or the life that you are living, then check your words. If you don't like the fruit you are reaping, then it's often because you have sown some bad seeds. So just change the seed. Change the words you have been speaking and start speaking some positive words, words that are filled with faith and that are based on the Word of God.
Then in verse 21 we read, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]." Your words can either create life or death, both for you and for others. So it's important to think before you speak. Ask yourself how your words are going to affect yourself and other people. For example, if you have a challenge ahead of you, don't say, "I can't do it! I'm not good enough!" Those are words of death. Eventually those words will become a reality in your life and you're going to have to eat the fruit of those words. Instead, speak words of life. "I can do it! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13) Those words of life will become a reality and you'll successfully overcome your challenges!
Let's check our words. Let's tame our tongues. Today, let's make sure that every word that comes out of our mouths are words of blessing and healing. Think before you speak. If the words you want to say are going to tear others down or even yourself, don't say them. Instead, speak the words that will build others and yourself up. That way, the fruit you will reap will be the positive words you have spoken. That's what a person of knowledge and understanding does.