Several of the proverbs in today’s Bible reading* talk about controlling your tongue and anger. (Proverbs 13:3; 14:16-17; 15:1-2, 4, 18, 28; 16:23-24, 32) Having self-control is a sign of wisdom. It is a fruit of the Spirit’s filling. (Galatians 5:22-23)
James warns, “… the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how a small fire sets ablaze a large forest. And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among our members. It stains the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” James 3:5–6 (CSB)
It takes years to develop wisdom and self-control. And producing spiritual fruit takes time, too. To do these things takes a long-term to walk in the ways of God, being empowered by God’s Holy Spirit.
I recently heard someone “apologize” by saying, “I’m sorry. Sometimes I say things without thinking about it.” That’s not an apology! Jesus warned, “A good person produces good out of the good stored up in his heart. An evil person produces evil out of the evil stored up in his heart, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.” Luke 6:45 (CSB) In other words, no one can honestly say that they said something they didn’t mean. Our words betray our hearts.
If you find yourself spouting off words that you “don’t mean”, take today’s proverbs to heart. You may even want to commit to memory some of them. Fill your mind and heart with the things of God. You’ll be surprised at what you will say! (Ephesians 4:29, 32)
We’ll look a little more at the power of our words tomorrow.
* Chapters covered in today’s reading: