Put away from you a deceitful mouth And put devious speech far from you. (Proverbs 4:24)
My son, if you have become surety for your neighbor, Have given a pledge for a stranger, If you have been snared with the words of your mouth, Have been caught with the words of your mouth, Do this then, my son, and deliver yourself; Since you have come into the hand of your neighbor, Go, humble yourself, and importune your neighbor. Give no sleep to your eyes, Nor slumber to your eyelids; Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand And like a bird from the hand of the fowler. (Proverbs 6:1-5)
From our Proverbs passages we learn:
- Put away crooked speech
- Consider the consequences of what you say – before you say it
- Quickly make amends for any “wrongspeak”
Have you ever said something and immediately wished you could take the words back?
No? Me either.
Of course, that’s not true. I am sad to say that I do so way too often. “Wrongspeak” can come in many forms. Hurtful comments, words of discouragement, negativity, gossip, profanity, deceptions, lies, false promises.
Jesus speaking: And he said, “Are you also still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. (Matthew 15:16-20).
Sometimes our harsh speech is unintentional but more often, we know exactly what we are saying. Our conscience warns us but we ignore the warning; we plow forward knowing that we will have to deal with the regrets and consequences later. What we speak is directly and inextricably connected to what we think –