James observed that the tongue “is a fire, a world of iniquity” (James 3:6). The psalmist described the tongue as “a sharp razor” (Psalm 52:2-4), “like a serpent” (Psalm 140:3) and “a sharp sword” (Psalm 57:4). Such is the power and influence of the tongue for it carries in its utterances the power of life and death, blessing and cursing! In today’s proverbs Solomon states that the tongue has the power to both bless and destroy.
Proverbs 18:20 – “A man’s belly [body; bosom; stomach] shall be satisfied [filled; nourished] with the fruit [reward; earnings] of his mouth [speech]; and with the increase [gain; produce] of his lips shall he be filled [satisfied; nourished].”
We know that words can affirm, express love, edify and encourage hurting souls. When words are employed to encourage others–they also resonate in the soul of the one who expresses them. What a joy to realize the words of encouragement we give to others are seeds that not only plant joy in a hurting soul, but also bear a mutual fruit in our own life!
Proverbs 18:21 – “Death and life are in the power [hand; authority] of the tongue [speech; verbal communication]: and they that love [like; having a strong emotional attachment] it [tongue] shall eat [devour; consume; eat in pieces; devastate] the fruit [reward; price] thereof.”
It is sport for the wicked to slander and malign a good man’s character; however, be forewarned–they will eventually eat the “fruit” and bear the consequences of their own words.
Matthew 12:36-37 – “But I say unto you, That every idle [useless; unfruitful] word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
Someone has said, “A bit of love is the only bit that will put a bridle on the tongue.” Another has observed, “Some people speak from experience. Others, from experience, don’t speak.”
Oh Lord, I would be the latter!
Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith