Word Choice ( Proverbs Chapter 15 1-15)
Delivered By
From Pastor David
Delivered On
September 3, 2015
Word Choice

Word Choice (Read Proverbs 15:1-15)

The ability to master our mouths, watch our words and tame our tongues demonstrates a level of spiritual and emotional maturity. The opposite is true as well. An inability to control our speech shows immaturity, and it can inflict great harm on our relationships.

Solomon addresses the importance of controlling our words by contrasting positive and negative speech. In each case, the effects end up as opposites: peacefulness or wrath, knowledge or folly, healing or a crushed spirit. In other words, when we fail to control our tongue, we don’t just fail to give, or be, a blessing, we also cause a wound that can rupture a relationship.

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author of "Words That Hurt, Words That Heal", states that he asks audiences whether they can go 24 hours without saying any unkind words about or to anyone. Invariably, a few people answer "yes," but most call out "no!" He responds, "Those who can’t answer ‘yes’ have a serious problem. If you can’t go 24 hours without drinking liquor, you’re addicted to alcohol. If you can’t last 24 hours without smoking, you’re addicted to nicotine. And if you can’t make it 24 hours without saying unkind words about others, you’ve lost control of your tongue."

How can we tell whether our tongue is under control? We won’t say anything about an individual that we can’t say directly to that person. We resist the urge to exaggerate. We consciously examine our thoughts and remove gossip and rumors from our conversations. We keep in confidence a personal matter that someone else shares with us. Further, we learn to speak positive words. Appropriate words communicate affirmation, comfort and healing.

When was the last time we said something to another person that we instantly regretted? Maybe it was something intended as a joke that was instead taken as an offense, or perhaps it was a sharp word spoken in anger that we wish we could have taken back. Think of a specific situation, and then let’s challenge ourselves to rectify the hurt. While we may not be able to take back the words themselves, we can humbly submit ourselves to that person and begin to rebuild the relationship.

Let’s consider a little food for thought. Do you think most people struggle with controlling their words? Why or why not? How would others evaluate our speech? Would they say that our words more frequently heal or wound? What steps can we take to gain tighter control over over our tongue? Standing with my finger over my mouth …Pastor David

September 2015