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Proverbs – To Build or Tear Down, Your Choice in Speech, Prov 4:23-27, Matt 12:34-37 PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Tsang   
Friday, 09 March 2018 13:13


One of the most common things that we do is speak words (apparently, women speak on average 5000 words a day and men 2000). This past Sunday, we reflect on the wisdom of using our words from Proverbs.


Firstly, Proverbs teach us that our words are deeply connected to our hearts.

Above all else, guard your heart,

for everything you do flows from it. (Prov 4:23)

Jesus taught literally the same thing,

For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. (Matt 12:34, NRSV)

Therefore, we need to guard our hearts and avoid all perverse talk (Prov 4:24).



Secondly, not only does our speech flow from our heart, our speech in turn forms our hearts.


“Superficial habits of talks react on the mind, so that cynical chatter, fashionable grumbles, flippancy, half-truths, barely meant in the first place, harden into well-established habits of thought. Repeated complaints, grumbles, coarse jesting hardens and develops into habits of thoughts. The place where it affects the most is our heart.”

(Derek Kidner, Commentary on Proverbs)

Finally, Proverbs offers us practical life applications in the area of our speech. Do not use words simply to flatter people with insincere praise (Prov 26:28). Do not use your words in anger (Prov 22:24-25). Do not gossip (Prov 17:4). On the other hand, do love truth and speak it (Eph 4:15). Pleasant and affirming words are sweet to the soul and they can bring healing in relationships (Prov 16:24). A word given at the appropriate time can bring joy, and health (Prov 15:23, 25:11).


May the wisdom of Proverbs guide the use of our words.


Peace and grace, John

Last Updated on Friday, 09 March 2018 13:22