The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), May 31
The most powerful weapon for evil or instrument for good weighs between 2-3 ounces and takes up 3-4 inches of a person’s entire body mass. Its impact far belies its tiny size. What instrument/weapon is this? The tongue.
The tongue is the heart’s mouthpiece. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). It communicates life or death.
Proverbs has much to say about the power of the tongue:
- The LORD hates a lying tongue – Proverbs 6:16-17
- Sin inhabits a multitude of words, while wisdom is found in restraint – Proverbs 10:19
- Cities are destroyed by the mouth of the wicked – Prov. 11:11
- The tongue of the wise promotes health, while the tongue of the wicked causes hurt – Proverbs 12:18
- An unguarded tongue brings self-inflicted pain – Proverbs – 21:23
- A gentle tongue is a powerful weapon – Proverbs 25:15
- A backbiting tongue provokes anger – 25:23
- Flattering is less effective than a simple rebuke – Proverbs 28:23
Freedom of speech isn’t always a good thing, “He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction” (Proverbs 13:3). “Even a fool is counted wise when he holds is peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive” (17:28). Just because a person has the right to say something does not mean that what is said is profitable, encouraging, or even right.
Verses in almost every chapter of Proverbs warn of the impact and power of speech. Most importantly, Jesus warns that each person will be judged for “every idle word” (Mt. 12:36).
No free speech on this earth is worth the judgment of holy God.
Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (Proverbs 14:1-16:33):
What impact does God’s wisdom have on individual’s interaction with others?
How does the lack of God’s wisdom impact interaction with others?
What heart attitude attracts the the attention of God? What attitude repels Him?