James 3:1–12; Proverbs 6:12-14, 10:18, 15:2, 18:7-8, 20:17, 28:23; Luke 6:45
One day, maybe today, you will say something that you shouldn’t say. One of our Presidents once said: I can’t regret any word I didn’t say. That’s so true but not possible; we have and will say things we will regret. We will speak words of death.
Solomon had a lot to say about this; in fact, he speaks about this issue almost 150 times in the book of Proverbs. Let’s draw some insight from this book about the tongue a try to become aware of its danger.
Last week we stated that the words we speak can be grouped in two; words of death and words of life. The words that we utter will determine what’s in our hearts. Jesus told us that the root problem of what we say is not our mouth but our heart.
In one of his books Charles Swindoll said; “Just as a bucket draws water from a well, so the tongue dips down and draws up whatever fills the heart. If the source is clean, that is what the tongue communicates. If it is contaminated, again, the tongue will expose it.”
So, I repeat; we all struggle to keep our tongue under control. Why? Because we are fallen, sinful, selfish creatures! And because of that we often use words to serve our own purpose and interest, unfortunately often at the expense of others. Of course; it is a two way street, we have been hurt by the words of death coming at us from others.
Some unhealthy ways this happens include Dishonest Flattery (when we say something to someone with the ultimate purpose of gaining something) and Gossip and Slander (false or exaggerated malicious statement).
Because gossip and/or slander are the foundation of all dissension and destructive to the core, they must be defused. How; here are a couple of questions to consider when approached by a gossiper or slanderer