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The Power Of The Tongue

Proverbs 18:21
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

1. Bible deals with the power of words - speech - so powerfully and fully. Two use Right use and wrong use.

2. Words are of great value.

3. Speak with care. We may win friends or make enemy; inspire faith or doubt; encourage or talk negative.

4. Through the tongue marriages are formed or destroyed; many have come to Jesus Christ. Words destroy friendships or drive some from church.

5. Let us read some proverbs on use of the tongue.

I. Words Of Wisdom And Encouragement

Proverbs 1:2-3
2 for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight;
3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair;

a. Aim is to make a person righteous

Proverbs 1:23-26
23 If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you.
24 But since you rejected me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand,
25 since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke,
26 I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you--

b. Righteous speech is powerful for good fruit

1. A fountain of life

Proverbs 10:11
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.

2. Endures forever

Proverbs 12:17,19
17 A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies.
19 Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.

3. Life and death

Proverbs 18:21
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

James 3:2-5
2 We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.
3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.
4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.
5 Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.

II. Wrong Uses Of The Tongue

a. The wicked speech to devise and carry out bad plans

Proverbs 6:12,14
12 A scoundrel and villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth,
14 who plots evil with deceit in his heart-- he always stirs up dissension.

b. God hates a lying tongue

Proverbs 6:17,19
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,
19 a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

Proverbs 24:28
Do not testify against your neighbor without cause, or use your lips to deceive.

c. Smooth and seductive speech, lead the simple go wrong path

Proverbs 7:5,21
5 they will keep you from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words.
21 With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk.

d. Destroys neighbor with his mouth

Proverbs 11:9
With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous escape.

e. Not think before he speaks

Proverbs 15:28
The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.

f. The whisperer or gossip ruins good relationships

Proverbs 16:28
A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.

Proverbs 17:9
He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.

g. The slanderer or tale-bearer should be avoided

Proverbs 20:19
A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much.

III. Right Uses Of The Tongue

a. What you say - think first

Proverbs 14:15
A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.

Ecclesiastes 5:2
Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.

Matthew 12:36
But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.

b. A soft answer is better than hard words

Proverbs 15:1-2
1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.

c. Gracious words are pleasant

Proverbs 16:24
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

d. Sometimes we need to control our words

Proverbs 17:27
A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.

e. Keep your tongue and far away from trouble

Proverbs 21:23
He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.

f. Be fair and reasonable in what you say about others

Proverbs 25:9
If you argue your case with a neighbor, do not betray another man's confidence,

Ephesians 4:25
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

g. A word fit speak is important

Proverbs 25:11
A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.

Colossians 4:6
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

h. Giving challenge is better

Proverbs 28:23
He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favor than he who has a flattering tongue.