Be Responsible for Every Spoken Word

Ever stopped to think how much power your words have on it’s listeners? Well, they do: the words you speak preserve or destroy life. You are responsible for every spoken word. Sobering? It’s NOT what you say that’s the problem, it’s the WAY you deliver the message. 

Let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say on the subject. Because…Proverbs 18:21

Be Responsible for Every Spoken Word

Your Words Have the Power of Life & Death

  • People live or die because of the things you say.
  • Words kill marriages, families, friendships, churches, careers, hopes, reputations, etc.
  • Did you know? Tongues are used as weapons of mass destruction, launching holocausts and wars.

Questions for YOU

  • Is your tongue “a tree of life” to the hearer?  Proverbs 15:4
  • Do your words reconcile, make peace, make your marriage sweet, your family strong?
  • Do you give hope or despair? Open understanding? Soften the heart?
  • Choose Your Words Carefully

“Trash language cuts & maims, but there is healing in the words of the wise.” Proverbs 12:18

You’re to Be Responsible for Every Spoken Word

  • Such are words: either you bless or you curse.
  • Words bring life, joy, encouragement, hope & healing in the right tone at the right time.
  • They also can degrade, humiliate and destroy if you don’t monitor and control them.

Thing is that WORDS create. Whether words are good or bad words makes no difference. They are seeds you sow every time you speak, that grow no matter what. They are no respecter of persons. They build or they tear down. YOU, on the other hand… have control on the type of seed you sow. THAT is your responsibility before God. That is why the Bible commands us to put a guard over our hearts. 

Proverbs 4:23-27 (MSG) Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. 

Words Reveal Character

Matthew 12:33-37 (MSG) “If you grow a healthy tree, you’ll pick healthy fruit. If you grow a diseased tree, you’ll pick worm-eaten fruit. The fruit tells you about the tree. You have minds like a snake pit! How do you suppose what you say is worth anything when you are so foul-minded? It’s your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words. A good person produces good deeds and words season after season. An evil person is a blight on the orchard. Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.”

Our words – our speech – what we say – is a perfect reflection of our hearts.

According to Jesus, we will give an account for every word we have spoken. THAT, is a sobering thought.

PROVERBS 17:4-7

  • 4: The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.
  • 6: A fool’s lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating.
  • 7: A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.

PROVERBS 17:8-21

  • 8:  A gossip’s words are like choice morsels; they sink into the inmost being.
  • 13: He who answers a matter before he hears it is folly and disgrace to him.
  • 21: Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

There are more than 150 verses in Proverbs devoted to the tongue, speech & words.

That’s one out of every six verses.

Words also have power to manipulate public opinion and shape social policy.

Notice the change / difference: 

  • Today we rarely hear anyone speak of fornication. Instead they’re sexually liberated.
  • People aren’t drug addicts; they’re chemically dependent.
  • Homosexuals are now defined as same-sex attraction or alternative lifestyle.
  • People don’t kill babies; they end a pregnancy.
  • Men and women don’t commit adultery; they have an affair.

How we use and employ words make ALL the difference in the world.

Proverbs makes it clear that you will recognize a fool by his speech, just as you will recognize the wise person by his words.

Words Tell Us About a Person’s Character & Heart

  • It all depends on what’s filling your heart.
  • A critical heart produces a critical tongue.
  • An ungrateful heart produces a grumbling tongue.
  • A self-righteous heart produces a judgmental tongue.
  • A bitter heart produces a harsh, bitter, or unpleasant word.
  • Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45

Be Responsible for Every Spoken Word “The Words You Speak Will All Depend on What’s Filling Your Heart.”

If We’re Not Careful, Words Can Be Destructive

  • “By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise will preserve them” Prov. 14:3.
  • “A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating. A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul” Prov. 18:6-7.

It’s Not That The Fool Deliberately Pursues His Own Destruction.

He’s So Reckless With Words He Invites His Own Rebuke With His Careless Speech.

  • “Put away crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you” Prov. 4:24; 12:19.
  • “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight” Prov. 12:22.

Proverbs Condemns Slander / Malicious Gossip

  • “The one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever utters slander is a fool” Prov. 10:18.
  • “Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered” Prov. 11:13.
  • “Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler” Prov. 20:19.

Address Gossip / Slander

  • Some people are gluttons for gossip. It’s called verbal bulimia.
  • They eat everything they hear, then vomit it back up in destructive gossip.
  • “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.” Proverbs 26:20-21 
  • If you want to stop a fire, take away the fuel. When someone shares gossip or slander, interrupt it immediately.
  • Challenge the gossiper to provide concrete evidence for what they’re saying. Provide proof or shut up. 

Speech Proverbs Commend

Proverbs talks about calm, gentle, and pleasant dialogue.

  • “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord, but gracious words are pure” Prov. 15:26.
  • “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body” Prov. 16:24.
  • “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” Prov. 15:1.
  • “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit” Prov. 15:4.

You will make more progress in persuading an opponent and have far greater success making your viewpoint known and accepted when you speak softly and gently. Harsh words rarely succeed in overcoming stubborn opposition.

John Calvin wrote:

  • “When a man is running short on evidence, he raises his voice but the person who is confident of the truth is calm and gentle.”

Proverbs Commends Being Slow to Speak / Choosing the Appropriate Time

  • “The wise lay up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near” Prov. 10:14.
  • By “laying up knowledge” he means someone who is not talkative and makes no show of what he knows.
  • The tongue is governed by pride. The fool blurts out statements which do more harm than good. 
  • “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent” Prov. 10:19.
  • “Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
  • Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent” Prov. 17:27-28.
  • “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame” Prov. 18:13.

WHEN We Speak Is Often As Important As WHAT We Say

Even the most priceless truths fall lifeless to the ground if spoken in haste and with harsh tone. Listen. Think. Weigh the circumstances. Ponder the consequences. A fool can hide his lack of knowledge by simply keeping his mouth shut.

Abraham Lincoln put it best when he said:

  • “It is better to keep your mouth shut and let them think you a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

“Let no corrupt talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear”

Ephesians 4:29

Many Reference Proverbs 31 For Good ReasonIn Proverbs 31, we see an all-out illustration of the godly wife and mother. She’s this virtuous woman worth far more than rubies. Who can beat that? Her husband trusts in her completely, she does him good all the days of her life. She knits, sews their own clothing, makes tapestry, she is never idle and her hands are always moving. She rises early in the morning and goes to bed late at night. She clothes her children well and they are never cold. She works the fields with her hands growing crop, then brings her stuff to the market to sell, and feeds her household well. She is a strong honorable woman, very generous to the poor and needy. Her husband is a well-respected man where they live and when she opens her mouth, out pours wisdom. Her children look up to her and call her blessed. So does her husband. She is not caught up in outward beauty; her beauty comes from her fear of the Lord.WOW!!!! Quite a standard to live up to, right?Many other proverbs give insight into how a woman of God is to walk, what kind of womanly influence she is to have in her household.

Follow me as we take a look and glean a few takeaways! These are more pieces of advice that address our hearts, tongues, and priorities – some specifically aimed at wives and mothers.

WOMANHOOD SPEAKS LOUDLY

  • Compared to Wisdom, the Lady Folly is rowdy, loud, naive and ignorant. Proverbs 9:13
  • A wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one picks it to splinters with her own hands. Proverbs 14:1
  • The man who finds a wife finds something good, and the favor of the Eternal is indeed his. Proverbs 18:22
  • Much like a gold ring in the snout of a pig, so is a beautiful woman who lacks good judgmentProverbs 11:22
  • Houses and riches may be inherited from parents, but a sensible wife is a gift from the Eternal. Proverbs 19:14
  • You would be better off living in the middle of the desert than with an angry and argumentative wife. Proverbs 21:19
  • A dignified wife brings honor to her husband; a shameful wife is decay eating at his bones. Proverbs 12:4
  • It is better to dwell outside on the corner of your roof than to live inside your house with a badgering wife. Proverbs 21:9
  • The alluring words of a seductive woman are a deep hole; the Eternal is incensed toward those who fall in. Proverbs 22:14
  • Foolish children bring misery to their fathers, and a wife’s bickering is a like constant dripping from a leaky roof. Proverbs 19:13

YOUR WORDS, DO THEY STRESS OR REFRESH?

  • When we speak brashly, folly is upon us seeking attention for ourselves.
  • Words of grace, discernment, and purity are pleasing in the sight of God and man.
  • Be fueled in God’s Word of hope! Stay away from worldly lust, keep your heart pure. 
  • Do you exercise wisdom or folly? Godly ladies build up others, lifting spirits that flourish. 
  • A woman’s behavior reveals her relationship with the Lord, and the value of her character

GOD SHARES ENCOURAGEMENT FOR WIVES OUT THERE

  • We have potential to be a direct blessing from Him, worth far more than any riches.
  • An upright wife brings glory and honor to her husband, she is excellence in her ways.
  • Her prudence—or thoughtfulness over others is a lovely fruit of her faith in the Lord.

A WIFE CAN MAKE OR BREAK HER HOUSEHOLD

Scripture’s Language Is Strong – Due to discontent, a nagging wife is a sorrowful thing in her household. Wow! Once she loses sight of Christ, the dangers of becoming quarrelsome and generating unnecessary friction increase dramatically.  The godly wife is to seek loving God and her husband wholeheartedly, for this leads to peace and prosperity.


MOTHERHOOD

  • 12. My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. Proverbs 6:20
  • 13. A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother. Proverbs 10:1
  • 14. A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his mother. Proverbs 15:20
  • 15. The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. Proverbs 29:15

Takeaways:

You may be thinking: these are about sons, not women! Yet the son reflects the mother, the one who teaches him.

These proverbs reinforce the powerful reality that our mothering has a long-term impact on the attitude of our children…and that we should be so deeply tied to the nurturing of our children that their disobedience or disrespect is heartbreaking.

The last proverb gives us a solution. It tells us moms that we have to be willing to love our children through discipline, correcting their wrongs with devoted discipleship, for it reaps godliness rather than shame.

While touching aspects of womanhood a little differently than Proverbs 31, these proverbs provide wisdom that remind us to speak sweet words, serve our husbands joyfully, and impact our children for good.