Summary: The seven things God hates.
Passage: Proverbs 6:16-19
Title: The Mouth (Part 2)
Interesting Statement: "I have often regretted my speech, never my silence." Greek Sage
Introduction: This week we again focus on that little rudder in our mouth called the tongue. James says, “We all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he say, he is a perfect man, able to brindle the whole body as well.” (James 3:2) A controlled tongue is the mark of maturity few can claim. Last week we saw unwholesome uses of the tongue (deceit, gossip, strife, foolish joking and boasting), this week we see correct uses of the tongue. As Solomon says, “The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of fools spouts folly. The lips of the wise spread knowledge.” 5 ways the “lips of the wise” can bring profit to others.
The Five Beneficial Uses of the Tongue
#1: To Give Wise Counsel (“Sound Advice” - Proverbs 10:32; 15:7, 22)
• Explanation: Proverbs declares the lips of the righteous bring what is “acceptable” (10:32) & “spreads knowledge” (15:7). This tongue comes from “many counselors” (15:22) & “consultation” (20:18) received from those understanding God’s Word properly.
• Illustration: 3 “Wise Counsel’s” Everyone should have…
o A Timothy - One younger you are giving Godly advice already learned.
o A Barnabas - One similar age learning from each other.
o A Paul - Someone older learning what they have already learned.
• Application: Without God’s Word, one cannot give Godly counsel, only offer good advise – which is human wisdom that falls short of God’s Word. We must use discernment when seeking counsel, as Job says, “The abundant in years may not be wise, nor may elders understand justice.” (Job 32:9)
#2: To Reproof and Rebuke (“Spiritual Exhortation” - Proverbs 15:5, 10, 31-32; 27:6 and 28:23)
• Explanation: To hear reproof is wise (15:5). The one whose ears listen to wisdom acquires understanding (15:31-32) but the one who hates reproof will die (15:10). We become more Godly when the wise correct the error of our ways when it is done right. Proverbs 27:6 says, “Trustworthy are the bruises caused by the wounding of one who loves you; deceitful is the flattery of one who hates you.” Four Notes on Rebuke…
o Rebuke Comes from Love - The one who does the rebuking should be one who loves the one he (or she) rebukes.
o Rebuke is Properly Remembered - The “bruise” that is left lingers on – it is not soon forgotten.
o Rebuke is a Form of Friendship - Friendship should include the freedom to mention criticism.
o Rebuke has Proper Intent - Not all compliments come from the right motive.
• Illustration: Craig Clapper (my Paul), “Can I wound you and we still be friends?”
• Application: Rebuke comes down to discernment and discretion. There is a right way and a right time when it comes to rebuke. God is not pleased or honored with criticism from anyone/everyone at any time. We would do well to take note of Proverbs 25…
o “Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances. Like an erring of gold and an ornament of fine gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear.” Proverbs 25:11-12
#3: To Give Words of Encouragement (Proverbs 15:23, 30 and 16:24)
• Explanation: Encouragement is a sincere expression of gratitude given honestly to another individual (usually in private). Seldom do we give a “timely word is delightful” (15:23) to “gladden the heart” (15:30). Yet pleasant words, like a honeycomb, are “sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (16:24) serving as a sign of maturity and Godliness.
• Illustration: Here is a daily checklist for encouragement; Have I encouraged my spouse, my children, my teachers (or mentors), my co-workers, my neighbor, etc. today, this week, this month?
• Application: While encouragement is good, we must be careful doing this too much as it can cheapen encouragement and appear insincere. Encourage when you mean it and when it is needed.
o “Like a overly large gem on a ring, encouragement, when overdone, lacks elegance and charm.” Swindoll
#4: To Share the Gospel (“Teach” - Proverbs 10:11, 20-21; 11:30; 18:4, 21a; 24:11-12)
• Explanation: There are so many benefits gained from the tongue of a Godly teacher who is well versed in Scripture, properly unpacking God’s Word in times of strife. We remember the one who shared the Gospel with us, helping to make the path clear to come to a relationship with Jesus.
o Remember – The Gospel is believed only when words have communicated it. Words are an integral part of God’s plan to receive a relationship with Christ. To the one who shares Christ, the tongue is essential.