The Power of the Tongue

The Power of the Tongue

“The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man.”
“The practice of morality being necessary for the well being of society, He [God] has taken care to impress its precepts so indelibly on our hearts that they shall not be effaced by the subtleties of our brain. We all agree in the obligation of the moral principles of Jesus and nowhere will they be found delivered in greater purity than in His discourses.”
“I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to His doctrines in preference to all others. I am a real Christian ? that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.”

PROVERBS 13 – 15

PROVERBS 13:2 A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.  13:3 He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.  14:3 I n the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.  14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.  14:26 In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.  14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.  14:29 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.  15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.  15:2 The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.  15:4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.  15:23 A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!

What is in the heart – the inner man, will come out of your mouth. At least, it will be spoken at some time or other. Thus, you must guard your heart for the sake of inner peace, and also so your mouth will not betray you when you speak. If what is in your heart is true, pleasant, virtuous etc. you will have a continual feast. If not, you will have tension and trouble that will come out of you eventually.

Proverbs 13:2

“If that which comes from within, out of the heart, be good, and from a good treasure, it will return with advantage. Inward comfort and satisfaction will be daily bread; nay, it will be a continual feast to those who delight in that communication which is to the use of edifying. 2. Violence done will recoil in the face of him that does it: The soul of the transgressors that harbours and plots mischief, and vents it by word and deed, shall eat violence; they shall have their belly full of it. Reward her as she has rewarded thee, Rev 18:6. Every man shall drink as he brews, eat as he speaks; for by our words we must be justified or condemned, Matthew 12:37. As our fruit is, so will our food be, Rom 6:21, Rom 6:22.” [Matthew Henry]
Therefore, the Bible says if you keep your mouth you keep your life. Or, as the saying goes – “Even a fish doesn’t get caught if it keeps its mouth shut!” Sin, that is indwelling sin, finds its outlet through the flesh. Moreover, three is no single organ as prone to sin as the tongue. The tongue has “killed” more people [reputations, relations, peace, order, etc.] than any other member of the body. Thus, you must keep a guard against your mouth so it does not lead you to lose your life through lack of diligence in not watching what you say.
Proverbs 13:3
“He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life,…. He that keeps his mouth shut keeps it as with a bridle; keeps it from speaking things of other persons, particularly of such as are in high places, of kings and princes, and civil magistrates: he keeps himself quiet and comfortable; keeps himself from many troubl es, which otherwise he would come into; keeps his life from danger, to which it would be exposed, should he speak evil of dignities, or give himself the freedom, as some do, whereby they are brought to an untimely end; see Proverbs 18:21; besides, persons ought to be careful of their words, since by them a man will either be justified or condemned hereafter, Matthew 12:37; but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction; or “consternation” (x): he that is rash and inconsiderate, hasty with his lips, a talkative man; that speaks freely everything that comes into his mind, regardless of the characters of men, or consequences of things; is often brought into frights and fears, through the menaces and threatenings of men in power, whose characters he has made too free with, and oftentimes is brought to ruin and destruction: so he, whose throat is as an open sepulchre, belching out filthy words, horrid oaths, curses, and imprecations, destruction is near him, even in all his ways; and the man of sin, that opens his mouth in blasphemy against God, and his tabernacle, and his saints, shall go into perdition, Revelation 13:5.”
Foolishness, or a fool, is often found in the lack of restraint in the use of words. A wise man by contrast speaks slowly and cautiously. He or she knows that there is no “want of sin” in multiplying words. In other words, the more you talk, the more the chances increase that you will offend God, Man, or both. One of the signal indications of carnality is loquaciousness. Therefore, the Bible speaks of fools using their mouths to boast and brag which, in the end, becomes a rod to lay stripes on their back. Life and death is in the power of the tongue, and you must consider this tremendous vessel [that is, the tongue] that can be used to build and comfort, or to tear down and destroy.

Proverbs 14:3

“A proud fool exposing himself. Where there is pride in the heart, and no wisdom in the head to suppress it, it commonly shows itself in the words: In the mouth there is pride, proud boasting, proud censuring, proud scorning, proud commanding and giving law; this is the rod, or branch, of pride; the word is used only here and Isaiah 11:1. It grows from that root of bitterness which is in the heart; it is a rod from that stem. The root must be plucked up, or we cannot conquer this branch, or it is meant of a smiting beating rod, a rod of pride which strikes others. The proud man with his tongue lays about him and deals blows at pleasure, but it will in the end be a rod to himself; the proud man shall come under an ignominious correction by the words of his own mouth, not cut as a soldier, but caned as a servant; and herein he will be beaten with his own rod, Psalms 64:8. 2. A humble wise man saving himself and consulting his own good: The lips of the wise shall preserve them from doing that mischief to others which proud men do with their tongues, and from bringing that mischief on themselves which haughty scorners are often involved in.” [Matthew Henry]

How hard it is to answer softly when anger rises! Yet, the Inspired record of God – the Holy Scriptures, tell you that a low, barely audible answer will turn wrath away at the door. Better that anger never enters the house of your mind then it gains a foothold at the threshold of your life and relationships. Because once it gains a foothold it often creates a stronghold. Further, anger gains the upper hand inside the one who is held captive by it. Then, there is no end of the troubles from the sin of [unrighteous] anger.

Proverbs 15:1

“Solomon, as conservator of the public peace, here tells us, 1. How the peace may be kept, that we may know how in our places to keep it; it is by soft words. If wrath be risen like a threatening cloud, pregnant with storms and thunder, a soft answer will disperse it and turn it away. When men are provoked, speak gently to them, and give them good words, and they will be pacified, as the Ephraimites were by Gideon’s mildness (Jdg_8:1-3); whereas, upon a like occasion, by Jephthah’s roughness, they were exasperated, and the consequences were bad, Jdg_12:1-3. Reason will be better spoken, and a righteous cause better pleaded, with meekness then with passion; hard arguments do best with soft words. 2. How the peace will be broken, that we, for our parts, may do nothing towards the breaking of it. Nothing stirs up anger, and sows discord, like grievous words, calling foul names, as Raca, and Thou fool, upbraiding men with their infirmities and infelicities, their extracti on or education, or any thing that lessens them and makes them mean; scornful spiteful reflections, by which men affect to show their wit and malice, stir up the anger of others, which does but increase and inflame their own anger. Rather than lose a jest some will lose a friend and make an enemy.” [Matthew Henry]
Therefore, the Bible says the righteous knows how to use knowledge correctly. How often men – even men who possess a knowledge of the Bible, employ that same knowledge to manipulate people, to twist and turn words so that truth falls in the street! Once truth falls, it often does not get up again for a long while. In some cases, the truth will never rise again. Therefore, become a righteous person and use your knowledge for what God intended it – to build yourself and those around you with words that edify. When necessary, words must be formed in the mind and released through the mouth that rebuke and reprove. This is still a proper use of knowledge since love corrects when it must. In either case, the righteous will use the knowledge of God in an appropriate way at all times.

Proverbs 15:2

“The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright,…. As the heart of a wise and good man is filled with useful knowledge, civil, moral, spiritual, and evangelical; so he takes care to communicate it, at proper times and seasons, in proper places, and to proper persons; adapting it to their case and circumstances, so as it may be for their comfort, edification, and instruction, and minister grace unto them; which is using knowledge “well”, as the word (s) signifies: such an use of it recommends it, and makes it appear beautiful and lovely, decorates and adorns it. Thus every good man, out of the good treasure of knowledge in his heart, brings forth his good things seasonably, to the use of edifying; in like manner, ministers of the word, scribes well instructed in the things of God, bring forth both new and old, to the profit of those to whom they minister; so Christ, as man and Mediator, had the tongue of the learned, to speak a word in season to weary souls; but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness; their knowledge, as they take it to be, but it is no other than folly; this they throw out in great plenty, in a hurry, without fear or wit; they “babble” it out, as the word (t) signifies, as water out of a fountain; their hearts are full of it, and their mouths proclaim it, Pro_12:23.”
If you will be “perfect” before the LORD, then gain control over your tongue. [Jas 3:2  For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.]
In James 3:2, the Word of God tells us that whoever gains mastery of his or her tongue can control every, or any other part of their flesh. The reason is the tongue is the most unruly member of our bodies. Therefor e, it follows, if you can control the wildest member you can control all the rest. The task of conquering the tongue is a lifelong endeavor. The tongue is always ready to give vent to the passions of the sinful nature. However, God desires for us to “speak as the oracles of God.” In other words, the Christian is created by God to use their tongue according to the design of the New Creature in Christ Jesus. Again, this is no small task. It is, as also mentioned, a daily exercise that goes on until we are home with the LORD. Nevertheless, you must gain the mastery of your mouth. To do so is to reach perfection in your walk with Christ.

James 3:2

“If any man offend not in word – In his speech; in the use of his tongue.

The same is a perfect man – Perfect in the sense in which the apostle immediately explains himself; that he is able to keep every other member of his body in subjection. His object is not to represent the man as absolutely spotless in every sense, and as wholly free from sin, for he had himself just said that “all offend in many things;” but the design is to show that if a man can control his tongue, he has complete dominion over himself, as much as a man has over a horse by the bit, or as a steersman has over a ship if he has hold of the rudder. He is perfect in that sense, that he has complete control over himself, and will not be liable to error in anything. The design is to show the important position which the tongue occupies, as governing the whole man. On the meaning of the word perfect.

And able also to bridle the whole body – To control his whole body, that is, every other part of himself, as a man does a horse by the bridle. The word rendered “to bridle,” means to lead or guide with a bit; then to rein in, to check, to moderate, to restrain. A man always has complete government over himself if he has the entire control of his tongue. It is that by which he gives expression to his thoughts and passions; and if that is kept under proper restraint, all the rest of his members are as easily controlled as the horse is by having the control of the bit.”


Pastor Jason