Oh no! Here we go. If I could just keep quiet. If I could just control my tongue. I love to gossip like the next person. Beyond gossip, sarcasm is for me a killer. The sharp rebuke that shuts someone I care about dearly up or provokes them to anger. Yikes!
- The gossip of bad people gets them in trouble; the conversation of good people keeps them out of it. | Proverbs 12:13 (The Message Bible)
- Evildoers are trapped by their sinful talk, and so the innocent escape trouble. Proverbs 12:13 (NASB)
I like the Message Bible for some things but there is a difference between being bad and being evil. The Hebrew supports the translation as “evil”.
Jesus is clear on this as well.
The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.
Luke 6:45 (NASB)
And again here:
- After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, “Hear and understand. “It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.” Matthew 15:10–20 (NASB)
- It only gets clearer with Jesus. “You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.“ Matthew 12:34–37 (NASB)
This is a strong, direct, and clear message from King Solomon and Jesus. I think that is enough. We need to take this seriously.
This is the deal. While it sounds like a “I should just shut up” issue. It is a matter of the heart. ” …for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” I desperately need for Jesus to fix my heart.
And there is good news. Jesus has! I am a new creation. I need to focus on Jesus and seeking His desire for me. I need to allow the Holy Spirit to empower me to love.
How can I show love? Shut up would be one very good way to start. People I love aren’t hurt by my silence. It is what I say, and sometimes do, that causes me to miss God’s goal (aka sin). Then, focus on my heart, where the problem starts.
- If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. | James 1:26 (NASB)
- This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger. | James 1:19 (NASB)