Proverbs 15:4, “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.”
What are the words we speak to one another? Are they words of encouragement, comfort, edification, healing, accountability, and peace; are they words of love?
The wholesome tongue, the one that is guided by the Spirit of God, is as a tree of life. Have you ever been the receiver of such words? I have, many times, while waiting for an answer from the LORD, someone would offer me His Word of comfort to continue waiting upon Him for He is never late in His answer (Habakkuk 2:1-3). I’ve received words of edification as I’ve struggled with “keeping-on”; I received those words just when they were needed to lift my spirit and kept me pressing on to the high mark of our calling (1 Thessalonians 5:11 & Philippians 3:14). And I have been on the receiving end of being brought to accountability while I was lacking.
All of these and more are for our good; but when the tongue is used to bring down and to destroy, we find ourselves faced with a fire that cannot be quenched. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold how great a matter a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith we bless God, even the Father; and therewith we curse men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries, either a vine, figs; so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you; let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom (see James 3:3-13).
Prayer: LORD, let the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight; Oh, LORD our strength and our redeemer. We pray the words we share with others will be filled with life, wisdom and love. LORD, speak through us and for us when we find no words; guide us to your Word and teach us to have wholesome tongues. LORD, if we have spoken unkindly, or if we have not lifted someone who needed to be encouraged; forgive us that we did not use that opportunity to heal, comfort and bring peace. LORD, give us opportunities to witness to others about your love for them. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.