"But no human being can tame the tongue.
It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison."
Sometimes it seems that I am going around the same mountain over and over, but to stay true to the Proverbs, that just happens. And you wonder: what in the world does James 3 have to do with the Proverbs? It appears to me an appropriate way to address today's subject--words. We are going from here to Proverbs 15, and perhaps it will give us some insight into how the tongue can be used for benefit rather than to shoot deadly poison into its victim.
"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." (Proverbs 15:1) How we say our words is so important. One can say the same thing with different emphasis and cause either compliance or anger. "Honey, the trash is outside the door again. Will you please take it to the street?" (said in kindness). "Honey! The trash is outside the door again. Will you please take it to the street!!" (said in anger or frustration). What different responses would those two questions make?
"The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of fools pours out folly." (15:3) Don't speak without knowledge of the subject.
"A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit." (15:4) Practice Gentleness.
"The lips of the wise spread knowledge, not so the hearts of fools." Wisdom is the key to knowledge, so the importance of developing wisdom cannot be overemphasized.
"The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly." (15:14) The fool is lacking in that which clearly enables others to have a tongue that heals, and that is wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
"A hot tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention." (15:18) Don't speak while you are angry!
"To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!"(15:23) Until our answer is appropriate and properly timed, it would be better if we just keep our mouths shut!
"The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord, but gracious words are pure." (15:26) Season your words with grace!
"The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things." (15:28) Think before you speak!
Man cannot tame the tongue, but through the application of the Word of God, our God can enable us to keep our words pleasing to Him.
Praying for God's strength to utter the right words at the right time,