The Loss of Relationships
Proverbs 18:6 says, “A fool’s lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating.” Those foolish enough to let their tongue get out of control are asking for trouble. If they ever had friends, they’ll soon lose them. Whoever gossips to you will probably gossip about you. That’s why Proverbs 20:19 gives us the following advice: “He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, Therefore do not associate with a gossip.”
The philosopher, Blaise Pascal, once said, “I hold it to be a fact, that if all persons knew what each said of the other, there would not be four friends in the world.”
A Snare to the Soul
Proverbs 18:7 says: “A fool’s mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul.” An even greater devastation of the tongue out of control is eternal judgment. The Lord says in Matthew 12:36,37: “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Isn’t that a bit of an overstatement? No. Words are but the tip of the iceberg. The Messiah said earlier in Matthew 12:34: “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Someone paraphrased that verse this way: “What is in the well of your heart will show up in the bucket of your speech.”
Our tongue is attached to our heart. There’s an integral relationship between what we say and who we are.
A.B. Simpson once said, “I would rather play with forked lightning, or take in my hands living wires with their fiery current, than speak a reckless word against any servant of Christ.” When it comes to the tongue we’re playing with fire.
God has instant replay. And he will hold us accountable for every word we have spoken. And that’s why controlling our tongue is a matter of life and death.
In my next post I’ll offer some practical tips on how to get our tongue under control.
Have you ever been on the receiving end of the boomerang effect? What have you learned from that experience that you could share with us? I’d love to hear from you.