April 15, 2008
“A soothing tongue is a tree of life, But perversion in it crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4 (NASB)
“My daughter-in-law is a heathen dog!” stated the woman. She went on for fifteen minutes, berating her son’s wife.
I was standing in the church foyer with a group of women listening to her tirade. This woman had been a Christian for decades. We had all been in Bible study with her over the years. We had watched her sing in the choir. Now we watched in shock as harsh condemnation spilled from her lips against her own family.
She seethed with anger and accusations. Her tongue slashed the reputation of her daughter-in-law. The group stood in silence—we didn’t know the girl. The girl had never come to our church. Perhaps, if this woman had allowed her tongue to follow the advice of Proverbs 12:18, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing,” this girl might be attending church with her. Instead, she came by herself each week.
With sadness, I stepped away from the circle of women. This brief encounter affected me for the rest of the day. I hurt for the unknown daughter-in-law. I ached for the woman so full of venom that it spewed out uncontrolled.
However, it reminded me to keep watch on my own attitudes and words. I desire for my tongue to be a soothing tree of life. I am going to challenge myself to keep a tight rein on my wayward words. Would you like to join the challenge with me?
Dear Lord, forgive the reckless, hurting words I speak. Teach me the words to encourage others. Allow my speech, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be a healing balm to those who have been hurt. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Visit Susanne Schepmann’s blog
Perplexing Proverbs for Women Bible study by Susanne Scheppman
30 Days to Taming Your Tongue by Deborah Smith Pegues
In today’s conversations, make it a point to speak kindly about people. In addition, determine to compliment three people whose paths you cross.
Do I think before I speak?
When do I usually speak in a negative manner?
How can my words bring healing to others?
Proverbs 15:2, “The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” (NIV)
Proverbs 17:28, “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.” (NIV)
James 1:26, “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” (NIV)
© 2008 by Susanne Scheppmann. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Tuesday, 15 April 2008.