We continue our study concerning the words we speak. There are two other passages in the book of Proverbs concerning the use of the tongue which are particularly significant.
“A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4)
Where the King James Version says, "a wholesome tongue", the literal Hebrew says, "the healing of the tongue". This clearly indicates that our tongue can be in need of healing. I believe the tongue of every sinner needs healing. The tongue is one area where sin is always manifested in every life. There are some areas in which a sinner may not offend. But the tongue is one area in which every sinner offends, and it must be healed.
"The healing of the tongue is a tree of life." Notice again the close connection between life and the correct use of the tongue. The alternative is, "perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit". Perverseness means "the wrong use". The misuse of the tongue is a breach, or a leak, in the spirit.
I remember once being in a service where a visiting preacher prayed for a certain person and said, "Lord, fill her with the Holy Spirit." But the pastor who knew her said, "Don’t, Lord; she leaks."
There are many that get filled and blessed, but it runs out through their tongues. You must keep a tight rein on your tongue if you are going to contain the blessing of the Lord. It is one thing to be blessed; it is another thing to contain the blessing. The healing of the tongue is a tree of life that brings life to us and to others. It works inwardly and outwardly.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21 NAS)
The alternatives are always so clear. It is either death or life. They are both in the power of the tongue. If we use our tongues properly, they will be a tree of life. But if we use our tongues improperly, then the result is death; and whichever way we use our tongues, we can be sure we will eat the fruit. Each one of us eats the fruit of our own tongue. If the fruit is sweet, we will eat sweet fruit. If the fruit is bitter, we will feed on bitter fruit. God has ordained it that way.
The tongue is the decisive member. Death and life are in the power of the tongue.
Dear Father, I want my tongue to be a 'tree of life'. I pray that You would help me to not permit a 'breach in my spirit' through the misuse of my tongue. I want to eat the fruit of life, Lord, and I want others to benefit from that fruit as well. Please help me to always season my words with grace and love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.