The tongue of the righteous is choice silver,
but the heart of the wicked is of little value.
21 The lips of the righteous nourish many,
but fools die for lack of sense.
The tongue can be useful to build up and breakdown…encourage and discourage…love and hurt! And when we look around us, we can see this truth! Dave Branon wrote a helpful illustration to explain the effect of the human tongue….
“What is the strongest muscle in the human body? Some say it’s the tongue, but it’s hard to determine which muscle is the most powerful one because muscles don’t work alone.
But what we do know is that the tongue is strong. For a small muscle, it can do a lot of good and a lot damage! This active little muscle that helps us eat, swallow, taste, and digest our food has a tendency to also assist us in saying things we shouldn’t. The tongue is guilty of flattery, cursing, lying, boasting, and harming others. And that’s just the short list.
It sounds like a pretty dangerous muscle, doesn’t it? But here’s the good thing: It doesn’t have to be that way.”
Now as Christians, we know that it doesn’t have to be this way because God’s word tells us that our lives are controlled by the Holy Spirit and the outcome of this is life changing. You see, at our conversion God has richly poured out His Spirit into our lives so that our heart, and our lives, will be changed in the following ways:
- No longer are we seen as unrighteous before God but rather we have received God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus.
- No longer are we ignoring and rejecting God but rather desiring to follow Him.
- And no longer are we living in hostility and hatred with God and people, but rather we’re living in unity and love with Him and each other.
So, as a result of a changed heart through the work of the Holy Spirit, our lives, and especially tongues, can be used for great good.
The writer of Proverbs says in 10:20 that “The tongue of the righteous is choice silver”. You see, because we’ve been made righteous through the work of the Holy Spirt, what this means is that we’re able to speak in righteousness, truth, justice and love to one another. Imagine how God would be glorified if we use our tongues – which He made – in this way…by encouraging and building up the church, the body of Christ, through proclaiming God’s word to each other! This would have an enormous effect on our relationship with God and with one another. And it will also be a wonderful witness for the Gospel of Jesus!
So, with help of the Holy Spirit, let’s ask God, through prayer, to help us guard our tongue and use it for His glory that so we can build each other up with words of righteousness and truth that we find in Scripture.