Proverbs 12:14 “14 From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things, and the work of their hands brings them reward.”
Proverbs 12:19 “19 Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.”
Words matter and the tongue is tied to the heart. What’s your heart like? Do you praise God and others with your words or or use them to rip and tear? I know I still do both; my emotion is so frequently tied to my wounds and pride that I far too often resemble verse 18 “Rash language cuts and maims..” (MSG) instead of “…healing … words of the wise”. I need to flip that equation. How about you, remembering that a word spoken can never be taken back?
Let’s use Christ as a role model. Even when he was shredding the religious leaders of the day, only once did he show what might be called anger (turning tables in His father’s house – the Temple). He endured watching His good word and love distorted and twisted to serve man (rather than Him) with love, patience, grace, and more. He didn’t resort to using harsh language as a bludgeon. He made his points with gentleness and truth.
He says the same thing about our lives today in the same way. He tells us the perfect truth. As God, He cannot lie. Think about that as you read the scripture. He can’t lie. His words can’t be anything but true. That might make it uncomfortable for us, but there’s peace there for the taking by following His words, by living the life He calls us to.
The flip side of “From the fruit of our lips people are filled with good things” is from the bile of our lips….Truth endures forever, but you always have to remember your lies. Words matter. Lives matter.
One of our car tags is WWJT – What Would Jesus Think, with the idea that if He is our role mode – check that – if He is our mentor, what would He think about what we just said? What about what we just did? What about what we just thought? Scary.
So tongue, who’s your master? Is it hurt and pride that are so frequently tied to our lashing tongue? Or is it Christ who will heal our wounds? He will bring us peace that will tame our tongue. He will bring us wisdom to live a life that can be told back with truth. He will give us the wisdom and love to build others, not tear them down. I look forward to the day I learn this lesson (and I know that there are people around me who can’t wait for that day either). How about you?