I hope you had a blessed day! Today we are in Proverbs 10. I know this chapter (like many in Proverbs) has a lot of short bits of advice and they seem to be incoherent as to form a foundational idea. At least I feel this way. When I read a passage of scripture like this it seems like I’m being banged around like a pinball. Each verse seems to hop like a frog from one random topic to another and back again.
To save you the pages of commentary that it would be, should I try to give a remark on each verse, I am going to stick to my original plan and only talk about the verses that stick out and speak to me today.
There are four verses that I particularly found myself rereading and pondering. They all have an underlying theme that connects them. See if you can find it.
“The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.”
Proverbs 10:11 NIV
“Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips and spreads slander is a fool.
Proverbs 10:18 NIV
The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value.
Proverbs 10:20 NIV
From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be silenced.”
Proverbs 10:31 NIV
Did you catch it? It’s all about that little muscle that can do big damage: our tongues. Have you ever stopped to think about your tongue? I’m sure you have! We’ve all bitten ours from time to time. And haven’t we all experienced moments when we wished we could take words back (or is that just me)?
The Lord gives some pretty clear instructions here about our mouths, speech and words. Let’s get real for a moment and let me share a little something about myself that I’m certainly not proud of… I am guilty (sorry mom) of using words that shouldn’t even be uttered by a sailor! I know I shouldn’t and the Lord is dealing with me on that. Please pray for me and my mouth… Lord knows I need all the help I can get! James 5:16 says to “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” So, help a girl out!
Aside from using the types of words that need to be washed out with soap, God also tells us that he hates lying (remember Proverbs 8 on the things God hates?). When we lie (even if it’s a “white one”) we know it’s not right. And God knows too! What’s the point of a lie anyways? At its core a lie is designed to cover the truth. Proverbs 10:18 calls you a fool when you lie or slander (which is the act of making a scandalous remark).
Those can be hard pills to swallow. But we MUST examine ourselves and make sure that our words are used for good.
If you answer yes to any of the following questions, then please join me in praying that God will tame our tongues.
1) Do you talk negatively about others when they aren’t around?
2) Do you use foul language? Even if only under your breath?
3) Do you lie to bend the truth in your favor?
4) Do you lie to help yourself if you think it won’t affect anyone else?
5) Do you regularly neglect to pray or praise God directly (aside from Sunday morning services)?
I’ve got to ask you to please not judge me… but I can honestly say that I have, at some point in my life, done all of the above. However, I’m proud to say that the Lord has delivered me from some of those (still working on a couple) and I know He still loves me in spite of my shortcomings.
I encourage you to take some time today to examine yourself and decide to be honest with yourself about areas that you need to let the Lord work. Who will stand with me and admit that they’re not perfect? How is the Lord working on you today? Comment below!