Guarded Tongues - The One Year Walk with God Devotional

Guarded Tongues

Read: Proverbs 4:20-27

Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.

Proverbs 4:24

IN WORD Words are powerful. They can wound the spirit of another, often leaving permanent scars. They can sow seeds of corruption in innocent or wavering minds. They can soil good reputations and they can foil good plans. They can carry a profound blessing; but they can also carry a powerful curse.

Peter learned about the power of words one day. “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” he told Jesus (Matthew 16:16). Those were potent words. The church would be built on that declaration. But moments later, Peter contradicted the will of God with a thoughtless rebuke of the Lord. His words were a stumbling block, a product of the kingdom of darkness. They were corrupt in a way not many of us consider; they did not reflect God’s reality.

Is Proverbs telling us simply to avoid vulgarities in our speech? Probably not. There are many forms of corruption and perversity in addition to coarse vulgarities: gossip, deception, mindless chatter, rumors, negativity, bitterness, insults, and more. All of these contradict the revealed truth of God. They run against the current of His will. In a very real sense, they slander and misrepresent the reality and beauty of His Kingdom and His character.

IN DEED Scripture tells us to do away with irrelevant and improper speech. Our words will carry a certain amount of power with them, whether for good or for bad. It is our responsibility to make sure they carry power that builds up rather than tears down; that reflects glory rather than corrupts the image of God; that honors truth rather than falsehood.

Do you guard your mouth? Many passages of Scripture warn us of the importance of doing so. The tongue is no small weapon. It wields a power few of us realize. Use it honorably and with extreme care.

Wisdom is knowing when to speak your mind and when to mind your speech.


From the Book: