Victims of the Tongue

“Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, ‘I am only joking!’ For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases. As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife. The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body. Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel are fervent lips with an evil heart. Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart; when he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart; though his hatred be covered with deception, his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly. Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling. A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin.” Proverbs 26:18-28

Oh, there are so many ways our tongues can get us into trouble. Not just those big things the outright deception and lies but the half-truths and twisting of words and dishonest talk. Sins of the tongue can take various forms. There are times we can say too much and we should be quiet. And there are times when we should speak up and yet do not say a word.

So many times, my speech has gotten me into trouble. Even the non-malicious things. We can have the best of intentions and still blow it.

Think of these proverbs. We can say things in jest and yet be hurtful. We can whisper and mutter and cause discord and division but when the murmuring stops the quarreling ceases. Gossip. How much information do you and I know that we should not know? How much of that have we passed on to others that perhaps we should not have said anything? It’s easy to do.

May God help us this week speak words that bless and do not curse. May we give hope and encouragement to those who need it. May we be those who defer speaking more about ourselves than we do of God. May He get the glory in all of our conversations. May He help us to guard our tongues.

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