From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be silenced.
This verse is twofold. The first part is a barometer. The second is a promise.
Let us look at the spiritual barometer.
Are you a believer in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Do you consider yourself righteous? Many would say that if they are believers then they are among the righteous. Oh, the lack of spiritual education among the flock.
To be righteous means to act in a “morally correct manner”. Does being a Christian automatically mean that you are righteous? Do you always act correct and morally? Do you never gossip, lie, cheat, steal, or slander anyone? Do you always respect others and treat them as God would treat them?
Many of us would hesitate after the first question and get even slower to respond as we go on. The answer would be no. Even if you said yes, the rest of the first part would complete the reality check.
Take a look at what comes out of your mouth. We are talking words here. This barometer wants to you to take your words and compare them to delicious, sweet fruit and wisdom that comes from God.
A fresh, delicious peach cannot be flavorless or juiceless. If it is, it is spit out and tossed aside. A tree that produces such fruit will not only be avoided, but could be cut down. Take that analogy and use it to measure your words.
Do not look at this barometer from your viewpoint. This barometer is not created by you. It is God’s barometer and it has to be truthful. No self-deception is allowed here. It is not how fruity you think your words are. It all comes down to how God and those around you see your words.
When you open your mouth, what usually comes out is a command or an opinion. It is true. Think about what you have said in the last hour. You might be surprised. Commands and opinions might not be “wrong”, but….. Now, take those words and put them up against the barometer.
Are your words sweet fruit? The words might be harsh or delicate. They might be subtle or direct. But are they sweet? God spoke to the woman about to be stoned with a delicate voice. He spoke to the disciples with a subtle voice. He spoke to the Pharisees with a harsh and direct voice. All of what He spoke was sweet fruit.
I read a piece of scripture that cuts to my heart. It is sweet fruit. I read a verse that makes me cry. It is sweet fruit. Sweet fruit is tasty as well as nourishing. God’s Word draws us back time and again and helps us grow. Now, look at your words again.
Are your words from God? Does He give them the sweet nutrition that they need? Be honest. When you speak do you insult people with your rudeness? Do you voice an opinion just to try to control others? Do you let God’s words come from your mouth instead of what you want to say? Do others come to you to hear the wisdom that pours forth?
Ninety-nine percent of us fail in this test. James wrote in his book how hard it is to control the tongue. If we claim that we have, we are liars and will have to answer to God for our self-deception.
I mentioned how the second part of the verse was a promise. It is a promise to those unbelievers and even to believers. The tongue of the perverse will be silenced, guaranteed.
Where are the perverse located? Everywhere, including the church. The tongue of those are ones that produce rotten fruit. Not all fruit looks rotten from the outside. Many times fruit looks delicious and enticing as it hangs on the tree. You naturally shy away from the fruit that lies on the ground where the worms are doing their job on it. You look to the tree that holds more fruit.
Yet, fruit on the tree does not mean that it good to eat. You might pick fruit that is not yet ripe. Those are the words from immature Christians that need to be left alone until they are ready for picking. You might pick fruit that is perfect and ready to taken in and used. You might pick fruit that seems perfect yet is black inside and contains small worms. Yuck!
Those deceptive fruits are words that make sense. They sound good. They might even sound biblical. They will end up deadly. That is why all words need to be put up against the barometer of God and measured.
When the words are proven perverse, they are silenced. They are ignored, removed from the body, or dealt directly by God. That is a promise.
Our job as a child of God is to strive for good fruits of wisdom to come from our mouths. We are not to sit back and hope it happens. We have to be in touch with God all the time and working to be the person He has called us to be. Otherwise, we are silenced. He has promised us that.