Part 2 (read part 1 here)
by Sarah L. Bryant
“Every word of God is pure:
he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.”
Last month, we looked at the power and influence of our words—they hold the power of life and death. What an encouragement this is to seek out how our Lord would have us to speak honorably. Proverbs 25:11 says that “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” The blessing that our words can bring to others is incredible. Have you ever received a kind word on a day when you were discouraged—and been blessed? We all have been given the ability to uplift and exhort one another with our tongue.
“The words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters,
and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.”
What a beautiful and peaceful picture is given here—the words of the wise are overflowing with wisdom, as a deep flowing brook. We remember from Proverbs 31 that the words of the wise woman are filled with wisdom and kindness. Isn’t the mental picture of a prudent Christian woman beautified, when we consider that her words spill forth with wisdom—not folly and idleness? James 3 says that “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” Wisdom is shown/proven through good conduct and wise, meek conversation. Our words need to reflect that which is pure, peaceable, gentle, merciful, without partiality—and without hypocrisy.
“The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious.”
Our words should not only be wise and purposeful, but also overflowing with grace…refined and gentle. Foul words, idle phrases or crude exclamations, flippant remarks, and degrading judgements should not be found on the lips of a wise woman. Some phrases and exclamations that are commonly heard in our culture are so easy to pick up, and before long, they become a habit. I encourage you to stop and think carefully about the phrases you commonly use. Are they gracious? Seek the Lord humbly, and ask Him to set a watch over your mouth. Ask for His grace in your life, to guard your lips before ungracious words come forth. The fool speaks before he thinks, and later regrets. Therefore, a wise woman must be one of few words. “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19). We must ask that the Lord would purify our mouths and help us use self-control in what comes forth.
Ephesians 5:1-4 contains some powerful exhortations on this topic. Let us break it down as we read…
“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;”
Are we saved by God’s grace? Are we His own precious, adopted children? Then let us take careful note of what follows—
“And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us,
and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God
for a sweetsmelling savour.”
We are commanded to walk in pure love, because Christ Himself walked in love, giving Himself for the redemption of our souls. We know this truth to be life-changing…
“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness,
let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;”
Now, we might feel justified as we read—“Okay, I don’t usually have a problem with that list…”
“Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting,
which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.”
Wait—we need to stop and examine ourselves here! Fornication is very wicked, a sin that we tend to think we would never fall into. However, foolish talking and jesting? Now that something we all do at some point or another. Foolish talking in this passage refers to silliness, ridiculous talk, nonsense, useless/idle words, or “buffoonery.” Certainly, this is not a category that I want to fall under—but do I?
And what exactly is jesting? It is joking, teasing, making puns, or being “witty” just to gain attention. Wow! I find myself convicted by this very potent passage—a lot to evaluate in my own life. We find here in God’s Word that foolish or silly talking and teasing is not to be our regular practice and habit as Christians. There are possibly appropriate times for joking with those we love, but we need to guard against this becoming a regular occurrence, since it can so easily become a habit. It is easy to constantly tease our siblings to the point that we cannot have a sober, edifying conversation with them, to joke with our friends because we are uncomfortable with getting around to serious subjects, and constantly make idle remarks just so that others think we are funny.
This passage gives us a needed reminder to steer against light-heartedness, joking, and foolishness. This is a very heavy topic to consider and pray about, for I am sure most of us struggle with this at some point or another.
“Speak not evil one of another, brethren.
He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law,
and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law,
thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.”
Once again, we are shown in God’s Word that our words carry so much power. Speaking evil of one another, slandering one another, speaking unkind words—all of these things are using the power of the tongue to bring death, rather than life. It can be easy to let our guard down around our family, who we are around the most. We can let unkind words fall on those we love the most, sometimes speaking evilly against our family members behind their back. This should never be our practice as God’s children. We need to carefully guard against this, for the consequences can be far-reaching, beyond our imaginations.
“My tongue shall speak of thy righteousness
and of thy praise all the day long.”
Here is one of the positive ways we can use our tongue—God’s praise! God is richly glorified when we open our lips in praise and adoration of His infinite goodness and mercy. His praise should be on our tongue all the day long. It should spill forth in every conversation and lighten our countenance. Our Lord desires and is magnified by our humble praise. He has done so much for us—loaded us with daily and hourly benefits (Psalm 103:1-5). How can we but speak His praises? This is one way we can open our mouth and give forth life!
“A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things:
and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak,
they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
For by thy words thou shalt be justified,
and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
Here, our Lord Jesus gets to the heart of the matter. What comes forth from our lips is what is in our heart. Sister, if your heart has not been regenerated—cleansed and redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ—you abide under judgement and will find no power within yourself to conquer the tongue (Romans 3:23). You must repent of your wickedness before a holy God, and beg forgiveness under the atonement of the Lord Jesus (Romans 5:8). He is ready and able to forgive, and wipe your heart clean (Ezekial 36:26). Jesus alone can cleanse your mouth and set forth His praise forevermore thereon (Romans 10:9-10)!
As I have studied God’s Word on this topic, I have felt the Lord’s conviction. I have seen areas that need to be changed. At first, I thought that it would be very difficult to discipline myself to be purposeful about my words, but as I sought the Lord in prayer to assist me in this goal, I found victory in Him. He enables that which He commands.
Sister, please stop and consider the words of your mouth. What category would most of your words fall under—wise, gracious, kind, foolish, idle…? This is no light matter before our holy and gracious Lord. We will be called to give account of every word (Matthew 12:37)! If you find that your words need to speak more life and your vocabulary needs refinement, please ask the Lord to purify your mouth! It is definitely not unattainable; the Lord’s grace is more than sufficient. He blesses our efforts to be obedient to His commands.
We have been saved by the precious blood of a Savior, Whose Words spoke this world into being (Hebrews 1:1), Whose every word was pure and loving. Who, by being the very Word (John 1:1-3), has shown us the way of redemption. He has given us the privilege to speak words as well. We can choose to embrace the power of the tongue to be a blessing on a daily—hourly—basis, if we refrain our lips from guile. “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.” (I Peter 3:10)
I don’t know about you, but I want my heavenly Father to be the doorkeeper of my lips!
Will you pray with me—
“Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth;
keep the door of my lips.”
At His mercy,
P.S. There are countless other verses God has given us about the power of our words, and I encourage you to personally study this topic and seek the Lord as you evaluate your own life.
Monthly Desktop Wallpaper