"THE BOOK OF PROVERBS" Wisdom Regarding Speech INTRODUCTION 1. Christians are to give careful heed to their speech... a. Avoiding corrupt words, speaking that which edifies - Ep 4:29 b. Abstaining from filthy talk, giving thanks instead - Ep 5:4 2. The book of Proverbs has much to say about speech... a. The power of speech b. Both to tear down and to build up - Pr 11:9,11 [What wisdom can be gleaned from Proverbs concerning our speech or language? First, there is the...] I. DESTRUCTIVE USE OF SPEECH A. LYING... 1. Which is an abomination to God - Pr 12:22; 6:17-19 a. Lying lips, a lying tongue b. Bearing false witness 2. Often fostered by hatred - Pr 10:18; 26:24-28 a. In efforts to hide hatred b. Trying to disguise one's true feelings 3. Which will prove to be short-lived - Pr 12:19; 20:17; 21:6 a. Just for a moment b. Sweet at first, but only a fleeting fantasy -- Lying will eventually destroy the liar, and often the one lied about B. FLATTERY... 1. Not sincere compliments, but deceitful praise to win another's favor and to manipulate 2. Also a source of ruin - Pr 26:28; 29:5 a. Often crushing others b. By entrapping those who are flattered 3. Often used effectively by the adulteress - Pr 6:24; 7:21 a. A truly evil woman b. Who uses enticing speech to seduce -- Like lying, flattery can destroy both the user and subject of it C. GOSSIP... 1. Also known as the tale-bearer, slanderer, whisperer - Pr 11:13 a. Who reveals secrets b. Unlike a faithful person 2. Betrays and destroys friendships - Pr 17:9 a. By repeating a matter b. When one who truly loves will remain silent 3. Creates strife - Pr 16:27-28; 26:20-22 a. Revealing the perverse character of the gossip b. Whose words are like wood to a fire 4. Destroys character and integrity - Pr 11:9; 25:9-10 a. The work of a true hypocrite b. Whose own reputation will eventually be ruined -- Whether true or not is incidental; gossip destroys both the user and the subject D. CURSING... 1. Especially one's parents - Pr 20:20; cf. Exo 21:17; Lev 20:9 a. Such a person's lamp would soon be put out in deep darkness b. Under the Law of Moses, it was a capital offense 2. But also another's associate - Pr 30:10 a. Even maligning a lowly servant can be disastrous b. The master (or servant) may turn on you -- Speaking evil of others harms one's self as much as those spoken against [As James tells us in his epistle, there is great danger in misuse of the tongue (Jm 3:2-12). But there can also be much good done through proper speech (Pr 15:4)...] II. CONSTRUCTIVE USE OF SPEECH A. GOOD WORDS... 1. Words of the righteous - Pr 10:11,20-21 a. A well of life b. As choice silver c. That feeds many 2. Pleasant words - Pr 16:24 a. Like a honeycomb b. Sweetness to the soul, health to the bones 3. Comforting words - Pr 12:25 a. Addressed to the anxious and depressed b. Making their hearts glad -- Such speech reveals the good heart of the speaker B. TIMELY WORDS... 1. Well-timed words - Pr 15:23; 25:11 a. Spoken in due season, how joyful and good it is! b. Like apples of gold in settings of silver 2. Well-thought words - Pr 15:28 a. Studied carefully by a righteous person b. On how best to answer -- Such speech reveals the wisdom of the speaker C. CONTROLLED WORDS... 1. That benefits the one who speaks - Pr 13:2-3; 15:1-2; 21:23 a. Preserving the life of the one who guards his mouth b. Defusing potentially violate situations c. Keeping one's soul from trouble 2. That reveals true knowledge and understanding - Pr 10:19; 17: 27-28 a. By sparing words, with a calm spirit b. Which even a fool can benefit from -- Such speech will enhance the reputation of the speaker CONCLUSION 1. From Proverbs we learn the value of being careful of our speech... a. Avoiding much harm to ourselves and to others b. Doing much good to ourselves and to others 2. Which may help us appreciate why Paul was so concerned that Christians... a. Let their speech always be with grace - Col 4:6 b. Let no unwholesome word come out of their mouths, only good words - Ep 4:29 Do we truly appreciate the importance and wisdom of the right kind of speech...?