Proverbs 10:31-32

Proverbs 10:31-32 "The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out. The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness."
Given the language within these final two sentences, verses 31 and 32 clearly belong together.  In addressing one’s speech, Solomon uses these two statements to expose the most important aspect of our speech – the source of our speech.  Verse 31 tells us what happens when we speak where verse 32 tells us what makes us speak.  Verse 31 tells us that froward tongue will be eventually stopped where verse 32 tells us what made the froward tongue speak – wickedness.  Verse 31 tells us that the just tongue will eventually be shared where verse 32 tells us what made the just tongue speak – righteousness.  In both cases, the outcome is not the focus.  In both cases, the source is the focus.

We like to focus on the outcome.  After all, having your tongue cut out is easy to focus on.  When it comes to speech, it’s easy to focus on the words.  Solomon wasn’t focusing on the words in these words.  He focused on the source of words.  A froward tongue being cut out is not the focus.  A person speaking forwardness is not the focus.  It isn’t even the mouth of the wicked that is the focus.  The focus of these proverbs is the character of the mouth that is speaking.  Everyone speaks.  Both the just and the wicked have mouths that speak.  In the passage, both the righteous and the wicked speak.  The righteous experience a different outcome than the wicked because their words are different but their words are different because their character is different.  The emphasis of these words is not the speech – it is the source of speech.

If you don’t want to have your tongue silenced, don’t speak frowardness.  If you don’t want to speak frowardness, don’t be wicked.  Wickedness precedes froward words.  A wicked heart is the source of a froward mouth.  A perverted heart is the source of a perverted mouth.  A foul heart is the source of a foul mouth.  If you want your words to be heard, speak wisdom.  If you want to speak wisdom, be righteous.  Righteousness precedes wise words.  A righteous heart is the source of a wise mouth.  A pure heart is the source of a pure mouth.  A holy heart is the source of a holy mouth.  The righteous know what is acceptable because the righteous fear God.  The wicked don’t know what is acceptable because they don’t fear God.  Well before the righteous speak, they discern their thoughts and intents.  Well before the righteous open their mouth, they have dealt with their words according to God’s ways.  We shouldn’t say everything we think and we shouldn’t say everything we feel.  More importantly, we should think everything we think and we shouldn’t feel everything we feel.  A lot of what we want to say isn’t acceptable in God’s ears and more importantly, a lot of what we think isn’t acceptable in God’s eyes.
 
We like to focus on our words instead of focusing on the source of our words.  When we say something we shouldn’t have said, we foolishly say, “I didn’t mean it.”  When we say something that hurt another person, we foolishly lie and say, “I don’t know why I said that.”  We say what we want to say!  We say what we’ve thought about saying.  We say what we want others to hear.  Long before anything comes out of our mouths, it is born in our hearts.  Long before words flow out of our mouths, thoughts are rehearsed in our hearts.  Rarely do we have a conversation with anyone that we haven’t already had with ourselves.  The source of every word we speak is our own heart.  Our character dictates our conversation.  If profanity comes out of our mouth, it lives within our heart.  If perversion leaks out of our mouth, it is because it abounds in our heart.  We can’t keep in who we are.  Our mouth is the crack through which our character spills out.  Our mouth is the vent through which our thoughts escape. 

If a person’s mouth is froward, it’s because a person’s heart is wicked.  If a person’s heart is wicked, he will eventually reveal his wickedness by his words.  In Matthew 12:34-35, Jesus boldly and bluntly confronted the Pharisees with this truth when He said, “O generation of vipers, how can ye, BEING EVIL, SPEAK GOOD THINGS? He would go on to day, “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart BRINGETH FORTH good things; and an evil man out of the evil treasure BRINGETH FORTH evil things.”  James used a water SOURCE and a tree ROOT to describe our words saying in James 3:10-12, “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing.  Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?  Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries?  either a vine, figs?  so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.”  Just as fruit on a tree comes from one source and just as water from a well comes from one source, our words come from one source – our heart.
 
The average person will look at these proverbs and fear having their tongue cut out so they will determine to work harder at controlling the tongue.  That’s a mistake because, as James put it, “the tongue can no man tame.”  If you want to avoid having your tongue cut off, you have to trace the tongue back to its source.  If you want the tongue to speak wisely and kindly, you have to adjust the source.  The tongue is like an electrical wire.  If you’re going to do any wiring in a house, you have to control wires or else they will hurt you.  To control the harm a wire can cause you, you have to trace it back to its source and turn the breaker off.  To control our words, we have to control our hearts.  To say acceptable things, we have to know what is acceptable.  To know what is acceptable, we have to have discernment, which is a virtue of the heart.  To say wise things, we have to know wise things. To know wise things, we need to have wisdom, which is a virtue of the heart.

Simply put, if you’re having a hard time with your mouth, then you’re having a hard time with your heart.  If people are shutting you up (a kind way of cutting your tongue out), then people dislike who you are because what you say reveals who you are.  If you’re saying things you shouldn’t say to your wife, then you don’t have a talking problem, you have a thinking problem.  If you’re saying things you shouldn’t say to your husband, then you don’t have a talking problem, you have a thinking problem.  If you’re saying things you shouldn’t say to your parents, then you don’t have a talking back problem, you have a thinking problem.  If you’re saying things you shouldn’t say about someone, then you don’t have a gossiping problem, you have a thinking problem.  You failed to discern what is acceptable and what isn’t acceptable IN YOUR HEART before it came OUT OF YOUR MOUTH.
 
One of most widely and most abused statements we all say is, “Watch your mouth!”  Beneath the surface of these verses is what we should be saying to ourselves and to those we’re trying to help, “Watch your heart!”  

Recent

Archive

Categories

Tags

Rehoboam Solomon fear of God health pride self-sufficiency wisdom 1 Corinthians 1 John 2020 5th Commandment Aaron Abel Abigail Abortion Abraham Absalom Accident Accomplishment Achan Acts 17 Acts Adam & Eve Adam Adolescence Adolf Hitler Adulterer Adulteress Aesop's Fable Aesop\'s Fable Aesop\\\'s Fable Affair Age Ahijah Ahithophel Albany Alcoholism Ally Alone Amazon American America Amnon Andrew Finch Animal Abuse Animals Answered Prayer Applause Apple of Eye Approval Arrogance Arthritis Asaph Ashamed Athletes Athletics Backbone Back Balaam Balance Bank Accounts Bathsheba Beauty Bedroom Beecher Behavior Benefit Benjamin BestBuy Bethlehem Bezaleel Bible reading Bible teacher Bible Biblical instruction Big Picture Bin Laden Birth Blog Boasting Bonar Bondage Boomerang Boyfriend Brutal Brutish Budget Buffalo Bills Building CA Rt 1 Cable News Calamity Call of Duty Calming Calvin Canaan Cancer Candidates Careers Cares of Life Casey Viner Character Cheesecake Factory Christian upbringing Christ Churches Circumspect Clamor Clinton Clothes Clothing Coaches College Commend Communication Companionship Conceit Conception Condemnation of God Confession Confidentiality Conflict Conservation Contrast Conversation Corinthians Corrupt Cosigner Cosigning Cosign Countenance Courting Coworkers Creation Creator Creatures Crime Criminals Crooked Cruel Curiosity Currency Danger Daniel Data Dating Daughters David Days Death Deceit Deceptive Delilah Democracy Democratic Desire Deuteronomy Devil Diligent Diploma Discovery Diseases Disease Dishonesty Dishonor Dislikes Divorce Domestic Violence Doorhanger Dress Drink Drug lords Drunk Driver Drunk Early Adulthood Ears Eastern Culture Ecclesiastes Economic Stability Eden Elderly Elihu Elijah Eliphaz Emerson Emmies Employers Encouragement Engagement Enoch Ephesians Ephraimites Esau Esther Eternity Evening Eve Evolution Excellence Excel Exodus Expectations Expectation Experience FaceBook Face Faithful False Fame Families Famine Farming Fashion Favor of God Fear of the Lord Fearing God Feast of Purim Financial Advisor Financial Security Fingers Food Foolish Football Free-will Freedom Friendships Friendship Friend Froward Fruit Fumble GPS Gadarenes Galatians 6:7 Galatians Gamble Gang Garden of Eden Garden of Gethsemane Garden Gender Differences Genesis Gideon Gileadites Girlfriend Girls Giving Glad Godhead Goliath Goodness Gossip Graciousness Grammies Grandchildren Gratitude Grave Grief Guide Guilt Culture Guns Gutters Hagar Haman Hamlet Hannah Hard Work Hard-Working Harlot Hate Evil Hatred Head Healthy Hearing Heaven Heaviness Heavy Heart Hebrews Helicopters Hell Herod Highway History Hollywood Holy Spirit Home Depot Homeowner Homicide Honesty House Humble Humility Hunting Hypocrisy Hypocrites Ian Brady Illness Immorality Independence Industrious Inherit Insecurity Insight Instagram Instructing Integrity Internet Interview Intoxication Inventions Isaac Israel Jacob Jairus James Jealousy Jeffrey Dahmer Jeremiah Jeroboam Jerusalem Jesus Christ Jesus Jewish Law Jewish Jimmy Soul Jobs Job John the Apostle John Jonah Joseph Joshua Josiah Joy Judah Judaism Judas Iscariot Judges Judging Judgmental Jury Justice System Kindness King David King Hezekiah Kings King Know-it-all Language Law Enforcement Law Leaders Learn Liars Liar Lies Life Lesson Likes Lion Loan Longevity Look Looting Lori Loughlin Loss of Health Loss of LIfe Loss Lottery Love Triangle Lowliness Luke 7 Luke Luther Lying MLB Magazines Majority Maker Makeup Maniac Manna Maple Trees Mark Martyrs Martyr Marvel Mary Matthew Media Mentors Men Merciful Merriness Mike Tyson Mindset Ministers Mob Mocker Mocking Monarchy Monopoly Month Moody Morality Mordecai Morning Moses Mouths Murder NBA NFL NHL Natural Disaster Naughtiness Nebuchadnezzar Negative Nehemiah New Tricks News Anchors Noah Nobles Numbers O.J. Simpson Obama Observation Obtain Old Dogs Olive Garden Order Others Paint Parenting Passion Pastors Paul the Apostle Paul Perspective Perverse Perversion Peter Pharisees Pharoah Philippians Physical Appearance Plant Pleasure Politicians Politics Polygamy Poor Popularity Portrait Positive Possessions Potiphar's Wife Potiphar\'s Wife Potiphar\\\'s Wife Potiphar\\\\\\\'s Wife Praise Prate Prating Preacher Pregnancy Pregnant Preparation Princes Prince Principal Thing Principal Procrastinate Procrastinator Profit Prophecy Prophet Prosperity Gospel Prostitute Protests Proverbs Proverb Psalm 21 Psalm 35 Psalm 37 Psalms 37 Psalms Psalm Punishment Pure Purity Purpose QVC Questions Rachel Rage Rebekkah Red Lobster Reels Rehoboam Rehoboma Relationship Religion Remember Repentance Reporter Reprove Republican Reputation Research Responsibilities Resume Resurrection Revealing Revelation Reward Rich Man Rich Ridicule Righteouness Right Riot Road Romania Romans 8:28 Romans Rulers Ruler Rules Sabbath Sadness Samson Samuel Sarah Satan Satisfaction Satisfy Saul Saving Scale Scam Science Scientist Scoffer Scripture Sea of Galilee Seasons Secrets Seduce Seed Seek Self-Confidence Selfies Selfishness Servitude Sexual Chaos Sexual Confusion Shakespeare Shame Culture Shame Shane Gaskill Shenandoah Valley Shoe Laces Siblings Sickness Silence Simon Peter Simon Slothful Social Media Social Society Solomon Song of Solomon Sons Sorrow Source Speaking Speak Speech Spies Spiritual Security Sporting Sports Sport Spouses Stanley Cup Steal Stephen Stock Market Strange Woman Strangers Stratego Strength Stress Super Bowl Rings Surely Surety Swatting Sweat Talebearer Talkative Talking Tamar Taylor Teachers Teaching Teenagers Teens Tendency Texas Roadhouse Theft Theocracy Tik Tok Timothy Tithes To be or not to be Toddlers Tolerance Tomb Tongue Tour Guide Travel Treasure Treatment Tribute Trickery Trinity Trips Trouble True Love True Wisdom True Turner Tyler Barriss Uber Eats Understanding Unforgiveness Unhealthy Universities Unjust Unrighteous Uprightness Upright Vain Value Vanity Vehicle Vengeance Videos Virtuous Vision Votes Voting Walk Walmart Washington Watsom Way of Life Way Weight Western Culture Winking Wink Wise Men Witnessing Womb Women Work Ethic Worth Wrong X Yankees YouTube Zechariah addiction adultery advertisements advertiser advertising advice advisor affection affirmation aggression alcohol amos angels anointing ant anxiety appetite argument assumption as attractions authority background backyard bankrupt battle beginning birds bitterness blessed brain bright broken nose buckler campfire cardinal sins career carelessness car cause certainty charity chastening childhood childrearing children child choices church attendance church command confidence confident consequences considerate contention contentment conversaion correction counselor counsel covetousness criticism cruelty cynicism dads dad darkness dark daughter debt deception decisions defend defense demands destruction determination diamonds diligence direction disappointment discernment discipleship disciples disciple discipline discontentment discord discretion distractions distress doctrine dogs drinking drugs dying ear education effort emotions employee employer employment enemies enticement enticing envy equity evil communications evil men evil women evil example eyelids eyes ezekiel facts failure fairness faith family fathers father favor fear of God fear of man fear feelings feminine fighting fight filthy finances fire flattery focus following foolishness foolishnes fools fool forgiveness fornication friends future gambling gangs gender gold good men good government grace greed guard guilt happiness happy harm hate headlights health heart hear hold your peace holiness home honor hope hunger husbands husband ignorance illustration income inequality infidelity influence iniquity insomnia instincts instruction intimacy investigation investing isaiah issued issue jabs jewelry judgment justice just kidnapper kidney kids knowledge labor law of sowing and reaping laziness lazy leadership learning legacy length of days lessons let life light lips listening listen little liver living loans loneliness long life longterm love lucifer lust man marketing marriage math memorization memory mercy messenger millions mind ministry mischief misery loves company misery mistakes mom money mothers mother motive mouth movies nature necklace neck neighbor obscenity observant oil oppression oppressor organs ornaments parable paranoia parenthood parents parent pastoring path peace peculiarity peer pressure peers peer permission personification pleasant politician ponder pornography pottymouth poverty power prayer preservation pride priests private procrastination prodigal profanity prosperity prostitution protection protect prudence public restroom purchases reading reaping reason rebellion rebuke regret rejection relate relationships relevant remedy remembrance remorse repetition replacement reproof respect responsibility responsible retain retention riches righteousness righteous risk robber romance rubies safety sailor salvation schools scorner secret security seduction seeing see self-sufficiency self-sufficient serpent seven deadly sins seven sexist sexual sin sex short-term silver simple simplicity sinners sin skepticism slander sleeplessness sleep slothfulness sluggard smoke to the eyes smoke son soul sowing spleen spouse stability stranger strange strife striving successful success suicide surgeon sword talents talk taxes teacher television temptation tendencies thief thieves thinking think thoughtfulness thoughts thought threats time tithe tree of life trust truth tv vehicles vice video games vinegar to the teeth vinegar violence violent virtue virtuous woman visual voice of God voice vulgar walking war wealth well wickedness wicked wife will wine wisdom wise sayings wise wives woman word of God words workplace work worry young man young people young youth