Proverbs 10:11 says
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.
King Solomon shows so much of his wisdom in the words of the proverbs. He does not let us down in this verse.
Do we really realize how powerful the mouth is? James describes it as a rudder that drives a large ship in the direction it wants to go. It is described as the match for the large wildfires. It is destructive, yet has so much potential.
Take a step back and look at those around you. What usually comes out of their mouth? Four letter words? I know several Christians who use these words in their everyday life and think nothing of it. Rude comments? Arrogant statements about their ability? Derogatory comments? Condescending words? Controlling opinions? Gossip? These are just a few of the things that come forth from the mouth of the person sitting next to you in the pew.
What should come from the mouth of the righteous? Words that should bring forth life and love are the ones that the righteous use. Whoa! Where are they? Do cuss words bring forth life? Quite the opposite. They are repulsive. Are rude comments reflective of a righteous soul? The bring one down instead of lifting up. Do arrogant words show life? No, they proclaim a heart that would challenge God himself. Is gossip a fountain of life? Usually it is the death nail for someone. What about controlling opinions? They are some of the worst. They rank alongside the arrogant. They challenge God with their opinions instead of the wisdom from God.
When we claim to be a born again believer, we take on a mantle of responsibility. We accept the job of giving life and lifting others up. When we refuse to correct our mouth, we are throwing the order from the Boss back in His face. Would you do that with your earthly boss? We are called to have a mouth that is reflective of Christ. When it is not, it brings about violence.
How can the mouth bring about violence? How many marriages have ended because of harsh words? A child’s self-esteem is destroyed and lasts through adulthood because of words tossed about. Friendships ruined because of a hateful phrase. Family relationships strained beyond repair because of arrogance and jealousy. Reputations can be destroyed. Emotions damaged. The violence comes from the collateral damage that is left behind. The sister who comments on how fat her sibling has become. The father who has to tell his son each day how dumb he is. The mother-in-law who cannot say one encouraging word. The friend who has to be better. The Christian who has to point out your flaws each time you see them.
Is your mouth reflective of Christ? Do others pull away from you because of the filth that comes out? Or do they draw closer to hear the wisdom of God?