“The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.”
Proverbs 10:11 NASB
Because there are over one hundred verses relating to the mouth, lips, tongue, and speech found in Proverbs, it’s impossible to cover the wealth of information in five short doses. So, hang with me as I attempt to whet your appetite to do further study on your own. With that in mind, I want to zoom in on chapter 10 of Proverbs and compare the mouth of the righteous to that of the wicked and foolish person.
We read in Matthew 15:18 that the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart. If in my very being I focus on God, then according to verses in Proverbs 10, my upright speech is like a fountain of life (vs. 11). It flows with wisdom (vs. 13, 31), is like choice silver (vs. 20), feeds many (vs. 21), and brings forth what is acceptable (vs. 32).
On the flip side, a heart focused on self and the world is more likely to let unkind, hurtful, and shameful words spew forth. The foolish, wicked mouth hides violence (vs. 6, 11), brings ruin (vs. 14), will be cut out (vs. 31), and is perverted (vs. 32). Let’s avoid these pitfalls at all costs by never letting sin go unchecked in our lives. Thank goodness, we serve a merciful God who forgives us when we confess our sins. Unlike having our mouths simply washed out with soap, His cleansing goes all the way to the heart.
One last thought and I close. Have you ever been burned by fire? I remember checking the broiler of a gas stove and having a blast of flames hit me in the face. It about scared me to death! A quick check revealed singed hair around my temples, as well as my eyebrows and eyelashes; the face was a little pink and tender. My point is this: fire can hurt, destroy, wound, and produce fear.
“A worthless man digs up evil, while his words are like scorching fire.” Proverbs 16:27 NASB
How careful we should be to avoid letting our words become a devastating inferno. Instead, let’s strive daily with God’s help to speak with a pure heart, bringing grace, life, healing, and peace to those around us.
“All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness; There is nothing crooked or perverted in them.” Proverbs 8:8 NASB
[Digging deeper – Psalm 37:30; Prov. 11:9a, 12:6, 15:2, 28; 16:13b, 23; James 3:5-10]
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