Teach the Tongue
Powerful. Life Changing. Incredible. Sometimes, not saying anything is priceless! How many times do our words, though seemingly innocent, get us into trouble, or hurt other people? How many times do our words encourage, edify and help those around us? How many Christians are really living like Proverbs teaches.
As the school year winds down, finals are administered, and teachers get a restful summer break, what have you and I learned during the school year. When a family has school aged children the year seems to revolve around the school session schedule. So, for this year, what have you learned? Have math skills increased? Has science and history been your thing? How much better is your handwriting?
More importantly, what character traits have grown? What spiritual steps have been taken this year? What decisions for serving the Lord have you made?
Recently, our family was reading though proverbs and the following 2 verses stood out to me personally.
- The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips. Proverbs 16:23
- Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince. Proverbs 17:7
What have you taught your mouth? Taught what? The wise man or woman, son or daughter, will teach his mouth to say only good things. Not always will be win this battle, but again, the wise teacheth his mouth. His lips are guided with learning. No-one wants to talk the fool, or speak foolishly. Verbal discipline is a requirement and expectation for the Christian life.
Notice how to not become a fool in Proverbs 17:7. Excellent speech will not result in a person being a fool. One paramount, pinnacle lesson each person must learn is the value of their words. Empty speech, useless conversation, angry words, and bad themes to talk about are not worth talking about! There are some things we should not waste our breath on! Here are some ideas to help these verse be true in your life.
- Teach or control your mouth. Take a breath before you speak. Pray for God to help you say the right things to the right people, the right way, with the right attitude.
- Keep learning. Be around good speaking. Avoid listening to cursing, gossip, or evil communication. Be aware of the impact of social media and the “Friends” you follow have on you and your speaking. The people we listen to and look to will inform our mind which in turn impacts what we say or do not say.
- Expect more. Don’t allow negative, selfish, and evil speaking in your home. Have excellent speech. Make or create time to talking at the dinner table, in the car, and on the porch. The more excellent speech that is expected, the least likely you and your children will be in becoming a fool. Don’t allow useless talk in your home.
- Be upfront. Notice how verse 7 says a person with lying lips will not become a prince. It is not likely that a lying person is ever truly successful and like a prince in life. It is less likely than a person who says good things to turn out to be a fool.
- Set down the phone. I read recently that teenagers spend more time on their cell phone than they spend time with their parents. Texting, facebook, twitter, Instagram, video games, snap-chat and more has not increased real life talking! Learn to set the phone or device down and carry on a real conversation with someone. Teach yourself good conversation habits.
Make application in your own home and in your own life-stage. How are you doing? Have you taught your tongue yet? It is an area that we must continue to learn and grow in. We never arrive with our words. Keep growing in excellent communication!