Language - Wisdom with the Tongue
Topic: Topical Scripture: Proverbs 18:21–18:21
The Power of Language
Language is wonderful and mysterious. It is so because it is a gift of God to us. It reflects and reveals him. How does language reflect God? According to the Bible, God himself can speak, and does speak. We are made like him, and that is why we can speak. When we use language, we rely on resources and powers that find their origin in God. In fact, as we shall see, language reflects God in his Trinitarian character. We can appreciate language more deeply, and use it more wisely, if we come to know God and understand the relation of God to the language we use.
Verne Poythress, In the Beginning Was the Word, Language – A God-Centered Approach, (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2009) 9.
LIFE with the Tongue in Proverbs
- To instruct and impart Wisdom—Proverbs 1:5-7; 2:6
- Speaking True and Noble Things—Proverbs 8:6–8 (ESV)
- To bring Blessing to Others—Proverbs 10:11;10:20;16:24
- Retraining and Holding the Tongue—Proverbs 10:19; 17:27:21:23
DEATH with the Tongue in Proverbs
- Talking too much – Proverbs 10:19 (and James 1:19)
- Crooked Speech and Lying Tongues—Proverbs 6:12 and 6:17
- Smooth and Seductive Speech Proverbs 6:24, 7:21
- Perverse Speech Proverbs 10:31, 32
- Jacking Up Communities Proverbs 11:9-11
- Wounding and Bringing Ruin - Proverbs 12:18; Proverbs 10:14, 18
- James 3:1-8
- Matthew 12:33-37
New Hearts, New Words
- The Gift of Grace
- The Gifts of Confession and Repentance
Father, we come before you in confession because you promise to forgive, restore, and cleanse us from these things as we confess them to you through Jesus.
For Your word says “If we confess our sins, [You are] faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
God, teach us to honor you with our lips, our conversations, and our thoughts.
We are all prone to sin with our words. Many of us are guilty of crooked speech, lying, manipulation, perverted jokes, gossip, and slander. Some of us just talk too much.
Jesus, forgive us. Let the way that we speak reveal your work in our lives. May Your name be honored through us!
If we let sin reign in our mouths, we bring destruction to our community, disunity to our church, and pain to those closest to us. We turn from this and ask for your help.
Instead of building up, we have often torn down. We’ve lied to one another instead of speaking the truth. We have said harsh things to others and refuse to admit the pain that we have caused.
In Jesus, these sins need not have control over us. He gives us His Spirit so that we can be set free from sin’s power and begin to walking in the wisdom of God.
Thank You, Father, for the freedom you give us in Jesus, through the power of Your Spirit. Change our hearts and honor your name through your people.
Jesus, let it be so, Amen!
- God gives us the ability to speak making us like him in a unique way. Language is for relationships with God and others. How does acknowledging this help us understand why we should use our words?
- List some ways you have positively used your words in the past? Recently?
- Look at the Death list from the book of Proverbs. Which of these do you struggle with most?
- Who are you hurting with your words? Friends? Coworkers? Employees? Spouse? Your Kids?
- In what ways can we see families ruined, communities fractured and even cities jacked up by the abuse of our tongues?
- Jesus taught us that we speak out of our hearts. Why do we need new hearts in order to have new words?
- When we look at how we should use our words, we should all feel convicted about our sins. Have you come to Jesus for forgiveness and a new life?
- Thank him for dying on the cross for the specific sins of your mouth. Thank him for giving us strength to follow him wisely with our mouths tomorrow.