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Most people will be surprised by the number of references in the Bible about speech, the use of the tongue, and talk in general. You get the impression from reading Proverbs that talking too much is not only unwise, it can lead to all manners of trouble. I guess the best way to make the case for avoiding verbosity would perhaps be to have a silent message delivered on Sunday morning — maybe through a slide running on the screen with Scriptures pointing to the wise use of the tongue. But I can already hear the voices of those who would say that was a waste of time, so instead we will do it the old-fashioned way…

For a little warm up, though, here is the list of good and bad speech from the book of Proverbs.

Good speech is:
Wise (10:13)
Healing (12:8)
Discreet (12:23)
Encouraging (12:25)
Helpful (13:2)
Conciliatory (15:1)
Appropriate (15:23)
Carefully planned (15:29)
Responsible (16:10)
Competent (16:21)
Beneficial (16:24)
Profound (18:4; 25:11)
Productive (18:20)
Controlled (21:23)
True (22:2, 8)
Honest (22:11)
Graceful (22:11; 31:26-27)
Joyful (23:15-16)
Patient and mild (25:15)

Bad speech is:
Lying (10:18)
Dangerous (12:13)
False (14:5; 22:28; 19:28)
Foolish (15:2)
Harmful (15:4)
Divisive (16:28)
Malicious (17:4)
Mocking the poor (17:5)
Dishonest (17:5, 7)
Arrogant (17:9)
Trouble-attracting (18:6-7)
Premature (18:3)
Deceptive (26:23-25, 28)
Rash (29:5, 20)

Now, these are only representative samples of these ideas. They appear and reappear throughout the book of Proverbs. In addition to these, there are countless references to true and lying witnesses in the context of a court of law, or simply in the context of one who is called upon as a character witness or to corroborate the truth about allegations against a neighbor.

Overall, you get the idea that God cares deeply about every word that comes out of our mouths. So much so that Jesus took great pains to say, “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.ā€ (Matthew 12:36-37)..

Enough said! šŸ™‚

Pastor Ivanildo C. Trindade

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