Proverbs 4:24

Proverbs 4:24 "Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee."
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No one likes to use public restrooms.  We only use them if and when we have to.  From first-world countries to the third-world countries, the places people use for the deposit of personal waste are the dirtiest places in the world.  Given the activities that “go down” in public restrooms, we typically don’t spend any more time than necessary in these places.  For what they are designed for, public restrooms are full of germs.  People who are conscious of hygiene will limit their time near or in them, being sure to wash their hands and touch as little as possible in the process.

Perhaps you’re asking, “What do public restrooms have to do with Proverbs 4:24?”  They have everything to do with Proverbs 4:24 when you consider what a person is called who has a foul mouth – POTTYMOUTH!  The person who spews out profanity, vulgarity and obscenity earns a Toilet Title.  The mouth that swirls around stinky speech is just like a dirty toilet.  In fact, it’s interesting that most public restrooms have perverted words etched into walls and partitions.  Dirty toilets and dirty talk go hand in hand.

Perhaps you’re still asking, “What do public restrooms have to do with Proverbs 4:24?”  Solomon is instructing his son to put perverse mouths far from him.  He is telling his son to keep his distance from toilet talk.  He is counseling his son to remove himself from those who speak vulgar words.  He is also counseling his son to remove those who speak profanity from him.  We need to see dirty dialog the same way we see public restrooms – as something we don’t want to be around.  We need to see filthy language the same way we see public restrooms – as something we don’t want to spent any more time with than we have to.  There are some places, such as job sites and school hallways where perverse language is unavoidable but much of the time, we choose what type of mouths we surround ourselves with.  We choose what type of television programs we watch.  We choose what type of movies we watch.  We choose what type of YouTube videos we watch.  We choose what type of friends we hang out with.
We need to approach dirty mouths the same way we approach dirty restrooms.  We should see dirty chatter as a threat to our moral health.  We should see filthy conversation as a threat to our souls.  We should limit our exposure to such words to only that which is unavoidable instead of willingly subjecting ourselves to it by spending hours in front of vulgar media.  We should work hard to avoid profanities & obscenities instead of paying money to hear them.

Solomon’s counsel to put perverse lips “FAR FROM THEE” is based on his preceding counsel to “KEEP THY HEART with all diligence.”  The more you expose your heart to evil communication, the more you corrupt your heart.  The more profanity you invite into your heart, the more profanity you fill your heart with.  Naturally then, you will be more likely to issue or speak profanity.  “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for OUT OF IT are the issues of life” (verse 23).  As previously noted, “OUT OF the ABUNDANCE of the HEART the MOUTH SPEAKETH” (Matthew 12:34).  What we put into our heart eventually comes out of the heart.  Therefore, keep your heart with all diligence by putting evil communication far from it.

Paul the Apostle wrote, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Corinthians 15:33).  A good heart exposed to evil communications will eventually be corrupted and the result will be an evil mouth.  If you watch enough movies with filthy language, eventually your heart will be corrupt and “out of it” will issue filthy language.  If you entertain gossipers and slanderers long enough, eventually your heart will be corrupt and “out of it” will issue gossip and slander.  What we put into our hearts through our eyes and ears eventually comes out through our mouth.  Consider Simon Peter, who spent much of his life surrounded by blue collar fishermen who undoubtedly spoke like sailors.  What his heart was exposed to for years eventually came out and it came out at the worst time.  After Christ was arrested, Peter was accused of being one of His disciples three times.  After being accused the first time, Peter unfortunately denied being Christ’s disciple.  After being accused the second time, Peter again denied but did so with an oath so as to be more convincing.  Finally, when accused the third time, Peter’s fear and emotion took over and “out of his heart” issued that which he had been exposed to for much of his life.  Matthew 26:74, “Then began he to CURSE and to swear, saying, I know not the man.”  The Lead Apostle spoke like a sailor at the worst of times because he exposed his heart to the profane language of sailors for a lot of time.

Just because you don’t swear right now doesn’t mean you won’t swear when put in the position to do so.  Just because you don’t say what the actors and actresses say now doesn’t mean you won’t say them when emotions make those things in your heart bubble out of your mouth.  Keep your heart with all diligence by diligently putting perverse lips FAR FROM YOU.

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