Summary: The seven things God hates.
Passage: Proverbs 6:16-19
Title: The Mouth (Part 1)
Interesting Statement: A man reputedly slandered a local pastor. One day, he realizing the weight of his hurtful words and went to the pastor for forgiveness. The pastor told him he would forgive him on one condition - he go home, cut up a feather pillow and scatter the feathers to the winds. The man did so, returning to the pastor, asking if he was now forgiven. The pastor told the man to do one more thing - go pick up all the feathers. The man claimed it would be impossible to pick up all those feathers. The pastor answered, “Precisely! Although you sincerely regret the damage you have done to me, it is impossible to undo it as it is to recover all those feathers.”
Introduction: The words “tongue”, “mouth”, “lips” and “words” are mentioned in Proverbs almost 150 times (5 times in each of the 31 chapters). Proverbs 15 states, “The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable but the mouth of fools sprouts folly.” (Proverbs 15:2) The way someone uses their tongue correlates to the status of their heart. As Jesus said, “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” (Luke 6:45) Proverbs 6 outlines a “six/seven” pattern of crooked actions (6 acts the Lord hates, the last one (7) being an abomination). This morning we look at the five wrong uses of the tongue (next week we will look at the right uses).
The Five Wrong Uses of the Tongue
#1: Dishonest Smooth Talk (Proverbs 20:17 and 28:23)
• Explanation: Smooth talk (flattery) means exaggerated praise/compliments. Flattery is nothing more than an insincere compliment spoken with dishonest motives in hopes to gain favor or praise from someone else.
• Illustration: Like someone desiring a raise, telling their boss how great his hair looks when in reality they could care less and only want a raise.
o “Bread gained by deceit is sweet… but afterward the mouth is full of gravel.” Proverbs 20:17
o “Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than he who flatters with his tongue.” Proverbs 28:23
• Application: How do we stay away from dishonest smooth talk or flattery? Long story short, just don’t do it - stay clear of it! It is better to rebuke in love than flatter deceitfully!
#2: Rumors and Insults (Proverbs 6:12-14; 10:18 and 20:19)
• Explanation: Rumors (gossip) is a false, inflated story unkindly discussed and/or told about someone. Three Proverbs come to mind…
o “A worthless (wicked) person goes about with crooked speech… continually sowing discord.” Proverbs 6:12-14
o “…whoever utters slander is a fool.” Proverbs 10:18
o “A fool’s mouth is his ruin… a snare to his soul. The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.” Proverbs 18:7-8
o “…Do not associate with a gossip.” Proverbs 20:19
• Illustration: All throughout the Bible God reserves His harshest words for gossips, condemning the habit!
• Application: There is great worth and wisdom in accountability. Those who can be trusted with sensitive information are rare. The old adage is true, unless someone is doing harm to themselves or someone else, confidentiality is king!
#3: Angry Words (Proverbs 22:24-25 and 29:22)
• Explanation: Angry (harsh) words doesn’t refer to expressing different opinions or even disagreeing with someone. There is a place for conversations that express difference opinions (especially when it points back one back to the Gospel). However, stubbornness or conversations that arouse unrighteous anger is displeasing to the Lord.
o “Do not associate with a man given to anger… lest you learn his ways and find a snare for yourself.” Proverbs 22:24-25
o “An angry man stirs up strife (problems)…” Proverbs 29:22
• Illustration: What we are talking about are spouses who fight simply for the sake of fighting or people who live in dysfunction of what someone else said.
• Application: It is easy to form the habit of speaking angry words or producing arguments. If this describes us, we have much homework to do as our homes and relationship demand encouraging words and not language that cuts down!
• Explanation: We will break this down into two parts…
o Boasting – Boasting means we think better than we really are - desperately wanting to be noticed. Boasting means we hid from our “real” self’s.
• “In the mouth of the foolish is a rob for his back…” Proverbs 14:3