King Solomon, reportedly the wisest man in the world, in his day, spoke in depth about the power of the tongue in the Book of Proverbs in the Holy Bible.
If you read the biographies of those who have brought about the most lasting and impactful change on this planet, they have a common theme – the power of their spoken or written communication, and how they wisely used this relatively small member of the body – the tongue.
A famous adage shares that the spoken word is one of the few things that never returns to you. Once spoken, it can’t be Unspoken; it can be “called back” – hence the reason King Solomon had so many proverbs about being careful and mindful of what you say and HOW you say it.
I’ve identified some select proverbs from Proverbs that underscore the importance of “taming” the tongue. King Solomon, contracts a wise man/woman with a foolish or fool, and the primary difference is how he uses his tongue.
Pay attention to the words of your mouth
All of the words of my mouth are with righteousness
The mouth of the righteous is a well of life
Wisdom is found on the lips of him how has understanding
A fool’s lips enter into contention
He who restrains his lips is wise
The tongue of the righteous is choice silver
A fool’s mouth is his destruction
The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom
The wicked is ensnared by the transgressions of his lips
The tongue of the wise promotes health
The truthful lip shall be established forever
The mouth of fools pours forth foolishness
A wholesome tongue is a tree of life
The lips of the wise disperse knowledge.
The heart of the wise teaches his mouth
In other words, “check yourself before you wreck yourself.” Or even more accurately, before you tongue wrecks you.
You’ll notice a clear pattern here. Wisdom, health, righteousness (living with high integrity and thus demonstrating right thinking, speaking and acting) and understanding, are all hallmarks of self-control, discipline, those that have “harnessed” their tongue for Good, and those that understand the power in their tongue. The fool exhibits foolishness, deceit and being easily ensnared. These, on the other hand, are the hallmarks of one who hasn’t learned how to control her tongue.
Are you speaking life, truth, encouragement, affirmation and wisdom with your tongue, or complaint, death, destruction, complaint, victimitis, blame, powerlessness, avoiding responsibility, strife, gossip or being toxic with your tongue??
The tongue is not to be taken lightly. As King Solomon proclaims in Proverbs 18:21, death and life are in the power of the tongue.