The problem with the tongue

“He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from trouble.”  Proverbs 21:23

I’ve added a new page, titled “Weekly Wisdom,” where I hope to bring you various posts throughout the week highlighting “Pearls of Wisdom” from the timeless book of Proverbs.

If a teenager or young adult would like advice on how they can improve their lives, a systematic, daily reading in Proverbs ranks at the top of the “to do” list.

I have found Proverbs a “must read” for all of us, young or old, who need direction and guidance in life.  I look back on my immersion in the wisdom of Proverbs as one of the reasons I am even half sane today.

People have problems with their tongues and the things that come out of their mouths.  I have struggled with an unruly and undisciplined tongue my entire life, and this small member of my body has started many a raging forest fire.

Solomon, the writer of most of Proverbs, spoke much on the problems of the tongue.  In today’s verse, we learn that guarding the words that come out of our mouths will save us from a crushing weight of grief and pain.

But it was not only Solomon who warned against the destructive power of the tongue; the New Testament writers also warn us of the explosive and damaging nature of an undisciplined mouth.  James wrote the following:

“So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.” (James 3:5-6)

James gives some incredible insight into the destructive power of the tongue.  Most fail to realize that what comes out of our mouths so often determines the path of our lives.

I will return to this theme, but for now, let’s start our day with the understanding of the power of the tongue to literally shape the path of our existense.  Ask God for wisdom on how you can properly use the tongue for good.

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