A Tool for Good

We continue today our examination of constructive speech. While the tongue can cause great damage to relationships and even entire communities, wise use of speech can strengthen relationships and unite people behind divine truth. Preachers, teachers, and evangelists possess this sobering potential.

  1. Witnessing, teaching, comforting

The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life. (10:11)

The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver,
The heart of the wicked is worth little.
The lips of the righteous feed many,
But fools die for lack of understanding. (10:20–21)

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who is wise wins souls. (11:30)

The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters;
The fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook. (18:4)

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit. (18:21)

Deliver those who are being taken away to death,
And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back.
If you say, “See, we did not know this,”
Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts?
And does He not know it who keeps your soul?
And will He not render to man according to his work?
(24:11–12)

Who can accurately measure the benefits gleaned from the tongue of a godly teacher well versed in the Scriptures? How can we gauge the depth of comfort received from the words of a close friend during a period of grief or affliction? And what about those who told you about Christ? Remember the encouragement you received from the glorious, good news of the Lord Jesus Christ? Where would we be without caring, thoughtful people using the gift of speech wisely?

Stop and consider this: “Faith comes from hearing” only when words have communicated the right message, the right way, at the right time (Romans 10:17). God gave humanity the responsibility to carry out His evangelistic, redemptive plan for the world, and we have a solemn responsibility to use words—written or spoken—to accomplish His great command.

Preaching, teaching, or evangelism may not be your gift or calling, but the principle holds true: your tongue can serve no better function in life than that to “make disciples of all the nations” faithfully and consistently (Matthew 28:19).

From Living the Proverbs by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired., an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Christmas items