by pastor david
Proverbs 18:21A “Life and death are in the power of the tongue.”
America has a new obsession. We are now obsessed with saying everything that is on our mind. This is evident from massive protests in the streets to social media. Everyone wants to speak his or her mind and we think everyone else needs to hear it.
I have a news flash for you. Not everything that enters your mind needs to be spoken. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for freedom of speech but where did we get the idea that our puny little thoughts need to be broadcast around the world? What makes our ideas and opinions so important that everyone around us needs to hear them? Also, who told us that our opinions are always right and everyone else is wrong?
As I have been studying the Book of Proverbs, I have been looking specifically for God’s instructions involving the use of the tongue, and to be candid, I have been terribly convicted by what I have read.
For instance, let’s look at a few verses in Proverbs 17.
Nearly every chapter in the Book of Proverbs has similar warnings for each of us to heed. It would be a good spiritual exercise to read the Book of Proverbs looking for exhortations regarding your speech and highlighting them in your Bible. I agree with Will Durant who said, “Talk is cheap because the supply always exceeds the demand. One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say”.
From my exploration of Proverbs, I offer these recommendations regarding our speech and the proper use of our tongues.
1. Say only WHAT needs to be said.
Again, not everything you think needs to proceed from your mouth. (Proverbs 25:11) “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”
2. Say only WHAT needs to be said, WHEN it needs to be said.
There are times when something needs to be said but the timing is all-wrong. Wait for the Holy Spirit’s prompting. (Proverbs 15:23) “A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is.”
3. Say only WHAT needs to be said, WHEN it needs to be said, and the WAY it needs to be said.
Very often, we ruin what should be said by the way we say it. How something is said is just as important as what is said.
I’m certain you are beginning to get the picture. Surrender your tongue to the control of the Lord Jesus Christ and it will prove to be a benefit and blessing to the Kingdom of God.
May I ask one last question in closing? Why are we so anxious to spout out every opinion and idea that comes to mind but so hesitant to share the Gospel with our unbelieving friends and family members? Why are Jesus and the good news of salvation the only things about which we are reluctant to speak?
Oh God, help us be silent when we should be silent but speak when we should speak.
Pastor David Boggs
I hope these occasional posts will encourage and challenge you as we grow in Christ together.
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