This morning I was in Proverbs 10. I know that every time I go to this book God will show me something new, and today was no different. A lot of this chapter focuses on our tongues and the mouth. Gah lay! For a redneck girl like me, I finished reading with sore toes. Now, I can honestly say that God has pruned me in many areas with my tongue. There have been several places in my life when God has asked me to be silent and I did exactly that. I’m not going to say that I liked it, but looking back, my silence increased my faith in what God can do without me and my big mouth getting in the way! Sometimes I think we think that we need to give our opinion, come to our own defense or spew out words that aren’t very well thought out because we lack faith in God having complete authority in something as small as our tongue. NEWSFLASH! He has everything under control without our two-cents! That’s a hard lesson learned, friends. I still have a long way to go, but I have seen how more fruitful a life can be when I have chosen my words more carefully and at times chose to not say anything at all.
As I was studying this morning, The Message Bible has a translation that I really liked for verses 31 and 32 and they just resonated with me that I had to focus there.
31: A good person’s mouth is a clear fountain of wisdom; a foul mouth is a stagnant swamp.
32: The speech of a good person clears the air; the words of the wicked pollute it.
Now that stings a little more than what I read in my study Bible. How many times have you been around someone that just has speech that stinks? With every word there is negativity, hate and a foul disposition…yet they claim to be a Christian? They never have anything good to say…their speech is stagnant…or unpleasant and dead. That’s a foul mouth, huh? Now, I have been in some swampy areas and there is very little life there…and what is there, is usually pretty dangerous. Gators, snakes and spiders. They each possess a dangerous bite…just like the foolish tongue. The mouth of the fool hastens destruction (verse 14). That gator can’t control his mouth when he sees an opportunity to bite…he must take it or starved. Well, God says the one that controls his tongue is wise (verse 19). Just because we feel something needs to be said, doesn’t mean we need to say it. That’s where wisdom comes in…knowing when to speak and when to stay silent. It doesn’t happen overnight, but comes through prayer and reading His Word diligently.
Lord, I want to have a tongue that clears the air…leaves the fresh aroma of Jesus long after I have left the room. Help me not to pollute my environment with speech that is of a stagnant, stinky swamp. Work on my heart and remind me of the consequences of my words. Let everything that comes from my lips be pleasing to You!