Part 3, Good Mouth, Bad Mouth

“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]

Speaking rightly,

Beverly <><



Photo Credit: Image courtesy of jscreationzs at; Image courtesy of


Part 1, Oh, My Words!

“My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.” 
Proverbs 1:8 NLT

OK, so I know the old saying is “Oh, my word!”, but simply add an s, and you have the focus for a series of doses we’ll be looking at over the next few days. There is life and death in the power of the tongue and Proverbs has a lot to say about our words – over a hundred verses!

Within the first seven chapters of Proverbs, we read repeatedly how children are to heed, listen to, follow, and cling to the instruction, teaching, and wisdom of their parents. Little ears are listening in so many places and are in desperate need of godly parental guidance.

What are some of the advantages and results listed in the Scriptures for children who observe their parent’s godly advice and instruction? A list from Proverbs includes:

Will be like a crown on your head and a chain of honor around your neck (1:9).

Will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God (2:5).

Will lead to a full life, peace, favor, and good reputation (3:2, 4)

Will be a source of life and health (4:22)

Will lead you, protect you, advise you (6:22).

Will help keep you from sexual temptation (7:24-25)

As parents, our children are hearing, and observing everything we do. Do you carefully consider your speech? Do you use God’s Word to instill correction, as well as direction, comfort, and kindness into their young lives? Will they learn how to biblically respond in confrontational situations by what they hear coming from your mouth?

“But I’m not a mother,” or “I’m an empty nester” you may say. Even so, I bet youngsters in various venues are listening to you. As teachers, instructors, coaches, tutors, and employers, our words speak volumes to today’s youth. Often, we aren’t aware that they are even paying attention. We need to pray for that sense of awareness.

Like the sons in Proverbs, are the young ones in your sphere of influence gaining life and victory due to your teaching? Are they experiencing the incredible benefits of God’s word because they hear it spoken from your lips? Has your wisdom helped steer them to make good choices?

Regardless of what role you may fill – single mom, grandmother, a beloved aunt, a big sister, a submissive wife, or just a friend – your talk can have an eternal impact on the sons and daughters of the next generation. Let your daily prayer flow from verse 14 of Psalm 19: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.”

[Digging deeper – Prov. 4:1-5, 6:20-22; 31:26; Eph. 4:29]

Speaking the truth,

Beverly <><



Photo Credit: Image courtesy of Ambro at

Knowing Perfection

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:10, NIV

019The large, burly instructor ripped the nose from the face of my clay sculpture and threw it across the room while shouting words of disapproval. At the time, I was too frightened for them to register, but his disparaging remarks left a lasting impression deep within my spirit. The mere remembrance of that dreadful day causes me to shudder.

The setting for this traumatic experience: a big-city art school in the South. The perpetrator: a ruthless sculpture professor who enjoyed intimidating freshmen. His target: the clay head I painstakingly labored over. His casualty: me.

I was proud of my creation. And the nose―well, it was just about perfect, at least in my eyes. I had no clue someone would view my creation with less pride. Nor did I realize how my view of myself and my ability was about to change.

Words―emit power! Their tentacles probe deep into our souls, unearthing emotions we are unaware exist. Words have the capacity to change how we think, feel and act. They have the power to uplift or to destroy.

Regardless of the power of the words that he spoke, it was neither my instructor’s words nor his actions that wielded the deathblow to my spirit. It was the negative self-talk I continued to feed my soul. My destructive internal words wore away at my confidence, not only in my individual creativity but in who I believed I was as a person. I second-guessed myself and my abilities. My God-given potential slipped from view. I only saw my failures.

God, our Creator, looked on all He had made and said it was good. We are His masterpiece―the pinnacle of His creation. It saddens Him when we view ourselves with disdain. We are created to do good works through our relationship with Him in Christ. It grieves Him when we minimize our assignments and dismiss our roles in His divine plan.

God envisioned the work first. Then He envisioned us. He created us for His specific purpose and enabled us to complete it. It isn’t about us at all. It’s about knowing our Creator and realizing His desire for us to join Him in His work.

The enemy is out to destroy our God-given tasks. He is out to destroy us.  It is essential that we resist the destructive words of the enemy and follow the detailed plans of our Instructor.

We are a team.  And as we work in tandem, we will truly know God’s perfection.