The Most Dangerous Part

Solomon had a lot to say about what we say. In fact, tongue, mouth, lips, and words occur almost 150 times in Proverbs. On average, a reference to speech appears five times in each of the thirty-one chapters. Seems to me any subject mentioned that often calls for extended attention in our examination of the book of Proverbs. So we will devote two weeks to the topic of wise uses of the tongue.

A key statement on the subject appears in Proverbs 15:2:

The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable,
But the mouth of fools spouts folly.

You may recognize this as a contrastive couplet: it mentions “the wise” in contrast to “fools.” Interestingly, both types of people reveal themselves to others by how they use their tongues. You and I realize, of course, that the root problem is not the mouth, but the heart—the person deep within us. Jesus taught, “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart” (Luke 6:45). Just as a bucket draws water from a well, so the tongue dips down and draws up whatever fills the heart. If the source is clean, that is what the tongue communicates. If it is contaminated, again, the tongue will expose it.

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

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