When I grew up, there was a saying kids would say to one another when they were arguing: “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never harm me!” I may have said it too, because it is stuck in my head. Several times lately, I have witnessed arguments, which the words spoken made the hair on my neck stand up. A mom was saying stuff to her children in a store, which scared a little girl to tears, and they were only words. A husband was saying stuff to his wife in a movie, which crushed her heart. Those words were the effect the movie wanted you to get, but my heart felt, that I am sure this happens every day in real life. People hurt people with their mouths more than with their fist. Both things happen, but too many people’s hearts are callused, not realizing how hurtful their words are. Let us stroll through God’s Word, and see if He has anything to say.
Psalm 19:14 (NIV)1
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Now think, if my words can be pleasing, then can they be displeasing? Yes they can. So do we treat people different than Yahweh?2 No! We are to “love our neighbor as our self,”3 and family is closer than a neighbor. Before we get going, I want you to understand this topic is mammoth, and we will only scratch the surface of it. If you have a Bible Concordance or a good Bible program on your computer, look up these words: mouth, tongue, lips, voice, and language, and you will be amazed. We will look at some more.
Psalm 34:13 (NIV)
keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.
Most understand the lies part, but it is that keeping your tongue from evil we have a problem with. Where I used to live, I saw a neighbor’s wife get mad at her husband and what came out of her mouth was nothing but lies and evil. She would say things about him in their front yard for all to see and hear that were nothing but lies and evil. Every neighbor knew exactly what was going on. Sad thing, I tried to help, but, Summer or Winter, she would stand in their front yard when he came home from work and publicly emasculate him with her mouth. They ended in divorce and it was her mouth that was the biggest problem. Another thing here is that men can be just as bad. I will not tell you the story but there was another couple who were having problems. This man’s wife did nothing but try to help her husband be a better man, but he would not accept help from any *$%^+@~` woman. Why not? There were strong women in the Bible and people listened to them. Again they ended in divorce. Had they turned to God and changed what was coming out of their mouths, things might have been different. Our mouths can hurt people, especially loved ones. What is supposed to come out are words of wisdom and words that are just. See this verse.
Psalm 37:30 (NIV)
The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just.
Based on what we know in the Word, “if it is good for the goose, it is good for the gander.” In other words if it is good for the female, it is good for the male. Out of our mouths, we should be uttering wisdom, and speaking what is just. This next verse adds information.
Psalm 49:3 (NIV)
My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the utterance from my heart will give understanding.
Our mouths should be speaking words of wisdom, and giving understanding. Is this a part of our life, or are we letting our mouths say things, which are unwise, and that do not give understanding? We must line ourselves up, with the Word of God, if we are going to be a blessing to those we are around.
Psalm 57:4 (NIV)
I am in the midst of lions; I lie among ravenous beasts—men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.
David wrote this by revelation, and was talking about the mouths of men around him. He was being figurative, but the stuff coming out of their mouths was like spears, arrows, and swords. I pray my mouth never has words like that. It is important we watch what we say. Next we will see a verse on something, which should be coming out of our mouths.
Psalm 71:8 (NIV)
My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.
We should have a mouth filled with God’s praise, declaring His splendor all day long. Those are God’s words not mine. We will go to Proverbs and see a verse we should never forget!
Proverbs 4:24 (NIV)
Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
This is something, we have to do. I hope, you do not have to look up “perversity” or “corrupt talk.” Both, we need to eliminate from our conversation, especially publically, as we represent God and His Son Jesus Christ, and people read us by our words, as well as actions. We are living epistles [2 Cor. 3:2 KJV], others look at our lives, and want what we have, or will not, if our example is bad. They should want, what we are living, but that takes us living God’s Word. We will continue in Proverbs with three great verses, all three we need to store in our hearts.
Proverbs 8:6–8 (NIV)
6 Listen, for I have worthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right. 7 My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness. 8 All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse.
Are our lips speaking what is right? It should be! Is what we speak true or wicked? It best be true! Our words should be just, and never crooked or perverse! These verses should make us think, about what is coming out of our mouths. This next verse should give us more to chew on.
Proverbs 8:13 (NIV)
To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
He hates pride, arrogance, evil behavior, and perverse speech! Four things, none of us want to be accused of, but that fourth one is perverse speech. Are we getting the idea our mouths can get us into trouble?
Proverbs 10:6, 11, 14, 19, 20, 31, and 32 (NIV)
6 Blessings crown the head of the righteous, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked. 11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked. 14 Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin. 19 When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. 20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value. 31 The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be cut out. 32 The lips of the righteous know what is fitting, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.
What comes out of the mouth can be good or bad! From these verses, the good mouth can be: a fountain of life, choice silver, brings forth wisdom, or know what is fitting. There are times a wise person, just has to not say anything or just hold it [Jesus at his trial]. I want to be like that! On the other hand, out of a mouth that is wicked we get: twice it says violence overwhelms [words like I ought to break your face, I ought to hit you in the mouth, any number of oral threats, which if you are big, can be and are very intimidating, and scary]. The mouth invites ruin, speaks out many words showing sin is there, or speak only what is perverse. Our mouths can bring great blessing, or our mouths can bring great hurt. We really must stop, and think before putting our mouth in gear.
Proverbs 11:11–13 (NIV)
11 Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed. 12 A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue. 13 A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.
Our mouths can be a blessing, to a city, [this is a figure of speech “Metonymy of Subject,” which exchanges words, here it says “city,” but it represents the “people”]. Your words are not going to affect buildings, but it will the people, or destroy them. Words printed, caused China, to fall to Communism. When Mao beat the nationalist, he had a parade in the capital, and on the main float was a printing press, with a sign: “Hero of the Revolution.” Propaganda [words] tore down the old nation [the people]. A man who derides [mocks, laughs at in scorn or contempt, scoffs or jeers at] his neighbor lacks judgment, but a man, of understanding holds his tongue. A gossip betrays a confidence, but someone trustworthy, keeps a secret. I have been betrayed by people, who tell things I have said to them, asking them to keep it to themselves, till I was ready to tell it myself. Now, that hurt me.
Proverbs 15:2, 7, 14, and 28 (NIV)
2 The tongue of the wise commends [to present, mention] knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly. 7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools. 14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly. 28 The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.
Which one, do you want to be? Some may think, it is fun to gush folly all the time, but it gets old, especially, if you never mention knowledge, or are on the receiving end. These first three verses, really cover the importance of knowledge, rather than your mouth speaking folly. Verse 28, really steps it up: “The heart of the righteous weighs its answers…,” he weighs [thinks hard about] his answers, but the wicked, just quickly gush out evil.
Proverbs 16:23–30 (NIV)
23 A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction. 24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. 25 There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. 26 The laborer’s appetite works for him; his hunger drives him on. 27 A scoundrel plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire. 28 A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends. 29 A violent man entices [with words] his neighbor and leads him down a path that is not good. 30 He who winks with his eye is plotting perversity; he who purses [expressions] his lips is bent on evil.
If, we want our hearts to guide us, and what we say, we must have our hearts, in the Word of God, and then our lips will promote instruction. Verse 24 shows, the great benefit of “pleasant words,” they are “…a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” The opposite is true, of unpleasant words: a poison, sour to the soul, and not healing to the bones. So, what is your mouth putting out? Verse 27, says a scoundrel’s speech is like a scorching fire, his or her words will hurt. Verse 28 really hits some good points. “A perverse man stirs up dissension,” I know, I have been there, and “a gossip separates close friends.” I have seen that, where someone gossiping, all but ruined a young girls life, and if it were not for the Word, she would have killed herself. Verses 29 and 30, show words, and actions, can be very bad.
Proverbs 17:28 (NIV)
Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.
Our mouths are such a problem, that we can look wise, and discerning just not talking. That show us, how important, it is to control that area, right under your nose!
Proverbs 18:4–8 (NIV)
4 The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters [means can get you in deep waters, which is not a good thing], but the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook. 5 It is not good to be partial to the wicked or to deprive the innocent of justice. 6 A fool’s lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating. 7 A fool’s mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul. 8 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.
Ours mouths can get us in deep waters, or by speaking out wisdom it can be a bubbling brook. The fool’s mouth brings strife, invites a beating, and can be his undoing [which is an old way of saying, “get you killed”], gossip will eat a man’s inmost parts. The next verses are in the same chapter.
Proverbs 18:20 and 21 (NIV)
20 From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied. 21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
The fruit, of our mouth can fill our stomach; with the harvest of our lips, we will be satisfied. That same mouth has the power of life and death, and if we love that tongue, with that power, we will eat the fruit of life or death. Which kind of tongue do you want? Sadly death comes out of too many mouths. I want to be a poor man whose walk is blameless.
Proverbs 19:1 (NIV)
Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse.
Do we want to be “…a fool whose lips are perverse?” We had best watch what we say, and heed the next verse in a big way.
Proverbs 21:23 (NIV)
He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.
We need, to guard our mouth and tongue [which is saying the same thing twice] to establish the need, for keeping ourselves out of calamity. Biblically, we are not just talking to men, women are included. This next verse shows, the importance of gracious [pleasantly kind, benevolent, courteous] speech.
Proverbs 22:11 (NIV)
He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.
Nothing else needs to be said. In the next verse, we see, that we should not brag about ourselves. Those of you wanting to serve, need to heed this. If we do this wrong, pride will enter in.
Proverbs 27:2 (NIV)
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.
Do we know when God is watching us? Think about that, in light of this next verse.
Ecclesiastes 5:2 (NIV)
Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.
Too many times, we tend to open our mouths very quickly, and say whatever pops in our minds. If that mind is feeding on the Bible, and the Word therein, what will come out should be words of love, compassion, grace, and mercy. If our minds have been fed filth, songs with perverse wording, movies with devilish themes, or whatever garbage the world and our ungodly associations are feeding us, then usually that is what will come out. Also, those words will be many, which is contrary, to what this verse teaches. These next three verses tie in, with the last three we have read.
Ecclesiastes 10:12–14 (NIV)
12 Words from a wise man’s mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his own lips. 13 At the beginning his words are folly; at the end they are wicked madness— 14 and the fool multiplies words. No one knows what is coming—who can tell him what will happen after him?
Here in the Hebrew Scriptures, we have seen many verses showing the good, and the bad use of our mouths. We must line up our lives, with the Truth, and control what we say, or it could get us killed. Let us go, to those Christian Scriptures, which are full of the same truths. We skipped over many verses and will skip over many more, as cannot read them all, or we would have to write a book. We are going to Matthew, and these verses should shake us to the core.
Matthew 12:34–37 (NIV)
34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Our first verse in the Christian Scriptures is Jesus speaking, and saying stuff many do not want to hear. What he says here, fits with what I wrote two paragraphs back. He stated: “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.” What we feed our minds with is what is going to come out, if good stuff, good will come out, if bad stuff, bad will come out. When he states: “…men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Think about those last two sentences! There will be a bunch of people condemned!
Matthew 15:8 (NIV)
“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
This verse is from Isaiah 29:13, and is repeated also in Mark 7:6. I am sure, that many people say the right things at the right time, but it means nothing if their hearts are somewhere else, far from him, or His Dad. This next verse is awesome in its depth.
Matthew 15:11, and 17–20 (NIV)
11 What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.’” 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.’”
Verse 11, states: “…what comes out of his mouth…is what makes him ‘unclean.’ Then verse 18, adds a little more and states: “…the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ Then whatever comes out of your mouth, comes from your heart, and makes you either “clean” or “unclean.” So it behooves us, to feed our hearts, and minds, with good stuff not garbage. This all agrees, with the next verse, so I will not comment, just read the verse, it is dynamite!
Luke 6:45 (NIV)
The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.
This next verse is what God wants, and it is in a doctrinal epistle, written to Christians.
Romans 15:6 (NIV)
so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So, we are to glorify God and His Son, with one heart and mouth. We cannot do that, if we do not control, what goes into our heart, which will influence what comes out of our mouth. We are going to another doctrinal epistle next. This verse is the cream filling, of how we should speak.
Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
We control, what comes out of our mouths! It says do not let! That puts us, in control, of what comes out. You think constant cursing or speaking expletives is “wholesome” or “unwholesome” talk? I should not have to tell you, that it is “unwholesome,” but I just did. We are to speak, what is helpful for building up others, according to their needs, and that benefits those who listen. That is what I call “cream filling.” Now we have work to do, look at this, especially what is bolded.
Colossians 3:8 (NIV)
But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
We must rid [get rid of] all such things: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. All of those can come out of our mouths, but the bolded ones fit most, into what we are talking about. We are told in Colossians, to rid ourselves of all such things. I think, we all have work to do, to correct these areas in our lives.
James 3:9 and 10 (NIV)
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.
With our mouth, we can praise Jesus and God, yet we can also curse men. Praise and cursing come from the same mouth, but the Bible says: “this should not be.” So, who needs to change this? We do! We need to control our mouths. If we want to see good days, we must change, look at this verse.
1 Peter 3:10 (NIV)
For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.
Do you love life and want to see good days? I sure do! Then we must keep our mouth from evil, and from deceitful speech. These words are God’s word, and what He and His Son want for our lives. I want it and hope you do as well. We will look at one last verse.
1 John 3:18 (NIV)
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
I wanted, to show this verse in closing. As we have seen, words can bless or hurt, give praise and build up or tear down and destroy. Words can make us sick, by us saying them, or someone saying them to us. Then this verse says that even though we can love with words, do it with actions and truth [which is the Word, John 17:17]. I could tell you stories, of many people whose life were changed with words. Some in a good way, many in a bad way, but if we love in actions and in Truth, we cannot mess that up, if we are truly doing it in love. Now let us change, have a blessed day!