Guard Your Speech Pro. 17:27-28; 21:23; 18:19-21; 11:13; 26:20-24; 10:18-19;
12:17-19; 25:11-13; 31:8-9 March 23, 2014
Let all of us heed this lesson, and guard our speech.
1. Guard Your Speech . . Think Before You Speak. 17:27-28; 21:23
A. Think Before You Speak . . Restrain Your Words Before Speaking. 17:27-28
27 The intelligent person restrains his words, and one who keeps a cool head is a man of understanding.
28 Even a fool is considered wise when he keeps silent, discerning, when he seals his lips.
B. Think Before You Speak . . Reason Well Before Speaking. 21:23
23 The one who guards his mouth and tongue keeps himself out of trouble.
Did you ever hear the words, “engage your brain before opening your mouth?” You could say, those words seem to come from the Bible. We are told to restrain ourselves while talking. In a pastor’s group to which I belong we have two pastors who have to dominate the conversations. They tell the same stories, because I am less of a talker I try to reason before I speak.
2. Guard Your Speech . . Tabulate the Power of Words. 18:19-21
A. Tabulate the Power of Words and the . . Product of the Lips. 18:19-20
19 An offended brother is harder to reach than a fortified city, and quarrels are like the bars of a fortress.
20 From the fruit of his mouth a man's stomach is satisfied; he is filled with the product of his lips.
B. Tabulate the Power of Words and the . . Power of the Tongue. 18:21
21 Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
What do our lips produce? With our lips we can offend people, and it is hard to regain their friendship.
The tongue has great power. Our text says. “Life and death are in the power of the tongue.” Right now as I write this commentary our world leaders are talking back and forth. Their conversations may lead to military action and the death of many soldiers. You have heard some leaders like these saying the power of life and death is in their hands. It is because of the words they say and the stands they make. We need to tabulate the power of our tongue.
3. Guard Your Speech from the . . Tales of Gossip. 11:13; 26:20-24
A. Tales of Gossip That . . Reveal Secrets. 11:13
13 A gossip goes around revealing a secret, but the trustworthy keeps a confidence.
B. Tales of Gossip That . . Ruffle the Feathers of Conflict. 26:20-24
20 Without wood, fire goes out; without a gossip, conflict dies down.
21 As charcoal for embers and wood for fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
22 A gossip's words are like choice food that goes down to one's innermost being.
23 Smooth lips with an evil heart are like glaze on an earthen vessel.
24 A hateful person disguises himself with his speech and harbors deceit within.
In a smaller town there are people who are know as gossips. They know most of the details of everything in town. It is funny to hear one person in that group talk about one of the others in a negative way because I have heard the same words used about them. No one thinks they are a gossip. But others think they can easily be called by that name. Gossip can falsely tell secrets and ruffle several feather along the way.
4. Guard Your Speech Against “Not” Being . . Truthful. 10:18-19: 12:17-19
A. Being Truthful Means . . Controlling Your Lips. 10:18-19
18 The one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool.
19 When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise.
B Being Truthful Means . . Communicating What Is Right. 12:17-19
17 Whoever speaks the truth declares what is right, but a false witness, deceit.
18 There is one who speaks rashly, like a piercing sword; but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19 Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue, only a moment.
Every Christian should desire to be truthful and that means all of us should do our best to control our lips
and concentrate on communication the truth. Did you ever hear, “if you tell the truth you don’t have to remember what you said?” My friend, Jim McNiel, is very careful about telling only the truth. He sets a good example in that area.
5. Guard Against “Not” Using . . Tender Words That Help and Heal. 25:11-13: 31:8-9
A. Tender Words That Help and Heal When Spoken at The . . Right Time. 25:11-13
11 A word spoken at the right time is like golden apples on a silver tray.
12 A wise correction to a receptive ear is like a gold ring or an ornament of gold.
13 To those who send him, a trustworthy messenger is like the coolness of snow on a harvest day;
he refreshes the life of his masters.
B. Tender Words That Help and Heal When Spoken . . Righteously. 31:8-9
8 Speak up for those who have no voice, for the justice of all who are dispossessed.
9 Speak up, judge righteously, and defend the cause of the oppressed and needy.
It is amazing when words can help, heal and encourage. If someone says, “you are doing a good job and I appreciate it, please continue.” Would that encourage you? Suppose someone is going to be sharing a big burden and you have the ability to help. Someone says to you, I know you can help in the big responsibility and ease the load for your friend. I am really glad you are there to help. What might that do for you? But if someone says, I don’t know why your friend is doing that; because even with your help it will become a big mess. Would that hurt or help? We can say to the hurtful person you need to Guard Your Speech. Amen?