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LIFE & DEATH ARE IN YOUR MOUTH

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Life and Death Are In Your Mouth!

Proverbs 18:20–21 NIV - Anglicised
20 From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied. 21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Proverbs 18:20–21 NIV
20 From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied. 21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Life and Death Are In Your Mouth!

INTRODUCTION:

The Tongue: Life and Death Are In Your Mouth!
Proverbs 18:20–21 NKJV
A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; From the produce of his lips he shall be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
Proverbs 18:20-21
INTRODUCTION:
INTRODUCTION:

1. Words are powerful...and words wrongly used can be hurtful.

Words are powerful...and words wrongly used can be hurtful.

2. The old saying, "stick & stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" is not true.

3. Words wound & discourage & hurt…And if we’d be honest today, we would have to admit that one of the most difficult things to do in life is control what we say.

4. We can do a good job for a while but in a moment of weakness or frustration, we say the wrong thing & do irreparable damage.

4. But one of the most difficult things to do in life is control what we say…We can do a good job for a while but in a moment of weakness or frustration, we say the wrong thing & do irreparable damage.

5. The Bible talks a great deal about the tongue & our words.

6. In the book of Proverbs alone it’s suggested that there are about 90 proverbs that regard the issue of speech...That’s not only because of its importance, it’s also because most of us struggle to find consistency in this area of our lives.

I think all of us remember reading in the book of James where it says “Though the tongue is small, it is set on fire of hell. With the same tongue we bless the Lord and curse our friends.”
If you were to study the book of Proverbs you'll notice that it has a lot to say about what we say.
In fact, the subject of the tongue and how we use our words is perhaps the preeminent theme of this book.
Over 150 times in this book alone, Proverbs refers to our lips, our mouth and our tongue.

7. Let’s be honest - Our tongue gets us into more trouble & causes more problems than probably anything else.

One of the central issues of the Book of Proverbs is how you use your tongue.
I think all of us remember reading in the book of James where it says “Though the tongue is small, it is set on fire of hell. With the same tongue we bless the Lord and curse our friends.”

NOTE: Our words are important.

8. Our words can be used for good or bad…Our words can get us into trouble or keep us from trouble.
Proverbs 21:23 NIV
23 Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.
Words are important.
Proverbs 21:23 NKJV
Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles.
After all, God created the universe with words. He spoke and it was so.
Proverbs 21:23
9. Words are important.
Two reasons why words are important:

Two reasons why words are important:

1) Because of the sheer quantity of words we use.

- Do you have any idea how many words you use in the course of an ordinary day…Probably not.

- But according to researchers, each person here will open his/her mouth an average of 700 times in a day.

You've probably heard of those techno-thrillers: “Hunt for Red October,” “Clear and Present Danger,” “The Sum of All Fears,” “Without Remorse.”
His works are always very thick, about 500-700 pages. There are 1/2 million to 3/4 million words in an average Tom Clancy novel.

- In those 700 times, you will use an average of 18,000 words.

How long would it take you to say as many words as he writes in one of his books?
According to researchers, each person here will open his/her mouth an average of 700 times in a day.

- Those 18,000 words would translate to about 54 printed pages…which means that in one year, an average person would fill 66 books of 800 pages each.

In those 700 times, you will use an average of 18,000 words.
Those 18,000 words would translate to about 54 printed pages. That means that in one year, an average person would fill 66 books of 800 pages each.

NOTE: Every year you write with your words 66 books…Is it any wonder Jesus said, “By your words you will be condemned and by your words you will be justified.”

2) Words reveal what’s in your heart

- Our words reveal what the heart contains.

This means that if our speech is inconsistent, it bears witness that our heart is divided.
2. Because of the amazing power of words.Think of what a few words put together can convey.
“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” were the words spoken by Neil Armstrong 25 years ago.
“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” were the words spoken by Neil Armstrong 25 years ago.
Matthew 12:34 KJV 1900
34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask instead what you can do for your country,” spoken by John F. Kennedy at his inauguration.
James 3:10 KJV 1900
10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
NOTE: Your words are important, because with your words you either say something worthwhile or something that isn’t worth anything at all.
Proverbs 18:21 NLT
21 The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

NOTE: If our speech is inconsistent, it bears witness that our heart is divided.

8. So let’s look at our main text to get started...

Proverbs 18:21 NKJV
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
Proverbs 18:20–21 NIV - Anglicised
20 From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied. 21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Proverbs 18:20–21 NIV
20 From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied. 21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Proverbs 18:20–21 KJV 1900
20 A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; And with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: And they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

NOTE: Whether you know it or not, there is the power of life and there is the power of death within you.

Proverbs 18:20-21, “From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
NOTE: Whether you know it or not, there is the power of life and there is the power of death within you.
NOTE: Whether you know it or not, there is the power of life and there is the power of death within you.

- Everything you have said this week has either been life-giving or death-dealing, and there is nothing in between.

Whether you know it or not, there is the power of life and there is the power of death within you. Everything you have said this week has either been life-giving or death-dealing, and there is nothing in between.

- The tongue has the power to kill, to destroy, to hurt, to maim and to assassinate...but it also has the power to give life & encouragement.

- The writer of Proverbs is saying that those who are prone to use their tongue must take the consequences of their words.

9. So, let’s look at what Proverbs says about what we should & shouldn’t do when it comes to our speech.

I) Right Uses of the Tongue

1. The tongue can be used for wise counsel and sound advice.

Proverbs 10:31 KJV 1900
31 The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: But the froward tongue shall be cut out.
Proverbs 10:31 NLT
31 The mouth of the godly person gives wise advice, but the tongue that deceives will be cut off.
Proverbs 10:31 NIV
31 From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be silenced.
Proverbs 15:7 KJV 1900
7 The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: But the heart of the foolish doeth not so.
Proverbs 10:31 NKJV
31 The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, But the perverse tongue will be cut out.
Proverbs 15:7 NLT
7 The lips of the wise give good advice; the heart of a fool has none to give.
Proverbs 10:31 HCSB
31 The mouth of the righteous produces wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be cut out.
Proverbs 15:2 NIV
2 The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.
Proverbs 10:31
Proverbs 10:31 NIV - Anglicised
31 The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be cut out.
Proverbs 15:7 NKJV
7 The lips of the wise disperse knowledge, But the heart of the fool does not do so.
Proverbs 15:7 HCSB
7 The lips of the wise broadcast knowledge, but not so the heart of fools.
Proverbs 15:7 NIV
7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not upright.
Proverbs 15:7 NIV - Anglicised
7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools.

- We’ve all had the experience of someone saying something that helped us see things in a way that opens a door of understanding.

Proverbs 15:7
What comes out of a righteous man? Wisdom. What comes out of a wise man? Knowledge.

- It may have been a teacher who shared words that brought insight…or a counselor who helped you see things with a helpful perspective…or even scriptural teaching that gives you great clarity on the things and ways of God.

NOTE: Wise counselors are valuable…and we should strive to be people who bring clarity and wisdom rather than a fog of confusion.

These two things ought to be coming out of your mouth all the time.

- As we live our lives we should be dispensers of wisdom & knowledge .

2. The tongue can speak rebuke and reproof.

If you listen to constructive criticism you will be at home among the wise. If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction you grow in understanding.
Proverbs 17:10 KJV 1900
10 A reproof entereth more into a wise man Than an hundred stripes into a fool.
The best way to extend wise counsel is to share your faith. tells us “the seeds of good deeds become a tree of life; a wise person wins friends (souls).” says “the tongue can bring death or life;” The best thing we can do with our words is point other people to Jesus; to tell them the life-changing truth of the gospel.
2. The tongue can speak rebuke and reproof.
Proverbs 17:10 NLT
10 A single rebuke does more for a person of understanding than a hundred lashes on the back of a fool.
Proverbs 17:10 NKJV
10 Rebuke is more effective for a wise man Than a hundred blows on a fool.
Proverbs 17:10 HCSB
10 A rebuke cuts into a perceptive person more than a hundred lashes into a fool.
Proverbs 17:10

NOTE: Sometimes giving wise advice involves correction & rebuke.

At times we will have to be the ones that gives words of correction to others.

- And it’s not that we’re trying to be judgmental or harsh...but it’s b/c we care.

If you find a man of understanding and you rebuke him, he will be impressed by your rebuke more than if you find a fool and beat him with a lash 100 times. That is because a wise man, a man of discernment, is a man you can come to and say, “My friend, I think you’re on the wrong path. My friend, I’m not sure about what you’re doing. Before you do that, stop and think. Let’s talk for a bit.”
Proverbs 27:6 KJV 1900
6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
If you find a man of understanding and you rebuke him, he will be impressed by your rebuke more than if you find a fool and beat him with a lash 100 times. That is because a wise man, a man of discernment, is a man you can come to and say, “My friend, I think you’re on the wrong path. My friend, I’m not sure about what you’re doing. Before you do that, stop and think. Let’s talk for a bit.”
Proverbs 27:6 NLT
6 Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
Proverbs 27:6 NKJV
6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
Blessed is the man who has a friend who is willing to come and give you advice like that.

NOTE: It’s better to have a friend tell you the hard truth than have somebody tell you what you want to hear & cover up the hard thing you need to hear.

Proverbs 27:6
Better to have a friend tell you the hard truth than have somebody try to butter you up and cover up the hard thing you need to hear.

3. The tongue can be used for encouragement.

- People desperately need to be encouraged.

- People need to be affirmed & appreciated.

Encouragement is a sincere expression of gratitude that is often private. It is when we “catch people doing it right” and let them know we have caught them. It is affirming the good effort of a child (even if the outcome was less than desirable). It is appreciating what people do that often seems to go unnoticed. It is celebrating victories. Encouragement empowers people.

- Encouragement has a way of empowering people…and even making them better.

Proverbs 12:25 KJV 1900
25 Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: But a good word maketh it glad.
Proverbs 12:25 NLT
25 Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.
Proverbs 12:25 NKJV
25 Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.
Proverbs 15:23 NKJV
23 A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!
3. The tongue may be used for encouragement.Proverbs 12:25Proverbs 15:4Proverbs 15:23Proverbs 16:24I bet when you read that, you think it is just metaphorical. Any medical doctor or nurse will tell you that’s not metaphorical at all. If you talk to people who work in the healing profession, they will tell you that whenever there is a patient who is surrounded by positive, optimistic, caring people who build him up and affirm him, that person has a much better chance of getting better and will normally recover a lot faster. When you have a patient who is off by himself and has no encouragement, or who is surrounded by negative, critical, pessimistic people, that person will have a much harder time getting better under normal circumstances. Why? Because pleasant words literally bring health to the bones. How blessed are you if you have somebody who comes alongside and uses words to lift you up. Doubly blessed are you if you are an encourager.How many of your words this last week were words of encouragement? How many of your words were words to build up? How many times in the last week did you find it necessary to criticize, to tear down and destroy? My friend Dr. Howe in seminary used to say, “Gentlemen, it takes no size to criticize.” Anybody can sit in the critic’s corner and just tear something down. Are you the kind of person that other people are glad to see coming into the room, or are you the kind of person that causes other people to turn their face away? One reason may be that they see you as a negative, discouraged, critical person. Everybody has troubles and problems. Nobody gets a free ride from earth to heaven. How blessed you are if you use your tongue to lift up and encourage the people around you.4. The tongue may be used for witnessing to others.
Proverbs 12:25Proverbs 15:4Proverbs 15:23Proverbs 16:24I bet when you read that, you think it is just metaphorical. Any medical doctor or nurse will tell you that’s not metaphorical at all. If you talk to people who work in the healing profession, they will tell you that whenever there is a patient who is surrounded by positive, optimistic, caring people who build him up and affirm him, that person has a much better chance of getting better and will normally recover a lot faster. When you have a patient who is off by himself and has no encouragement, or who is surrounded by negative, critical, pessimistic people, that person will have a much harder time getting better under normal circumstances. Why? Because pleasant words literally bring health to the bones. How blessed are you if you have somebody who comes alongside and uses words to lift you up. Doubly blessed are you if you are an encourager.How many of your words this last week were words of encouragement? How many of your words were words to build up? How many times in the last week did you find it necessary to criticize, to tear down and destroy? My friend Dr. Howe in seminary used to say, “Gentlemen, it takes no size to criticize.” Anybody can sit in the critic’s corner and just tear something down. Are you the kind of person that other people are glad to see coming into the room, or are you the kind of person that causes other people to turn their face away? One reason may be that they see you as a negative, discouraged, critical person. Everybody has troubles and problems. Nobody gets a free ride from earth to heaven. How blessed you are if you use your tongue to lift up and encourage the people around you.4. The tongue may be used for witnessing to others.
Proverbs 15:30 NKJV
30 The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, And a good report makes the bones healthy.
Proverbs 15:23 NLT
23 Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!
Proverbs 15:4 NLT
4 Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
Proverbs 15:4Proverbs 15:23Proverbs 16:24I bet when you read that, you think it is just metaphorical. Any medical doctor or nurse will tell you that’s not metaphorical at all. If you talk to people who work in the healing profession, they will tell you that whenever there is a patient who is surrounded by positive, optimistic, caring people who build him up and affirm him, that person has a much better chance of getting better and will normally recover a lot faster. When you have a patient who is off by himself and has no encouragement, or who is surrounded by negative, critical, pessimistic people, that person will have a much harder time getting better under normal circumstances. Why? Because pleasant words literally bring health to the bones. How blessed are you if you have somebody who comes alongside and uses words to lift you up. Doubly blessed are you if you are an encourager.How many of your words this last week were words of encouragement? How many of your words were words to build up? How many times in the last week did you find it necessary to criticize, to tear down and destroy? My friend Dr. Howe in seminary used to say, “Gentlemen, it takes no size to criticize.” Anybody can sit in the critic’s corner and just tear something down. Are you the kind of person that other people are glad to see coming into the room, or are you the kind of person that causes other people to turn their face away? One reason may be that they see you as a negative, discouraged, critical person. Everybody has troubles and problems. Nobody gets a free ride from earth to heaven. How blessed you are if you use your tongue to lift up and encourage the people around you.4. The tongue may be used for witnessing to others.
Proverbs 16:24 NKJV
24 Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.
Proverbs 16:24 NLT
24 Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
Proverbs 15:30 NLT
30 A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health.
Proverbs 16:24I bet when you read that, you think it is just metaphorical. Any medical doctor or nurse will tell you that’s not metaphorical at all. If you talk to people who work in the healing profession, they will tell you that whenever there is a patient who is surrounded by positive, optimistic, caring people who build him up and affirm him, that person has a much better chance of getting better and will normally recover a lot faster. When you have a patient who is off by himself and has no encouragement, or who is surrounded by negative, critical, pessimistic people, that person will have a much harder time getting better under normal circumstances. Why? Because pleasant words literally bring health to the bones. How blessed are you if you have somebody who comes alongside and uses words to lift you up. Doubly blessed are you if you are an encourager.How many of your words this last week were words of encouragement? How many of your words were words to build up? How many times in the last week did you find it necessary to criticize, to tear down and destroy? My friend Dr. Howe in seminary used to say, “Gentlemen, it takes no size to criticize.” Anybody can sit in the critic’s corner and just tear something down. Are you the kind of person that other people are glad to see coming into the room, or are you the kind of person that causes other people to turn their face away? One reason may be that they see you as a negative, discouraged, critical person. Everybody has troubles and problems. Nobody gets a free ride from earth to heaven. How blessed you are if you use your tongue to lift up and encourage the people around you.4. The tongue may be used for witnessing to others.
Proverbs 15:23Proverbs 16:24I bet when you read that, you think it is just metaphorical. Any medical doctor or nurse will tell you that’s not metaphorical at all. If you talk to people who work in the healing profession, they will tell you that whenever there is a patient who is surrounded by positive, optimistic, caring people who build him up and affirm him, that person has a much better chance of getting better and will normally recover a lot faster. When you have a patient who is off by himself and has no encouragement, or who is surrounded by negative, critical, pessimistic people, that person will have a much harder time getting better under normal circumstances. Why? Because pleasant words literally bring health to the bones. How blessed are you if you have somebody who comes alongside and uses words to lift you up. Doubly blessed are you if you are an encourager.How many of your words this last week were words of encouragement? How many of your words were words to build up? How many times in the last week did you find it necessary to criticize, to tear down and destroy? My friend Dr. Howe in seminary used to say, “Gentlemen, it takes no size to criticize.” Anybody can sit in the critic’s corner and just tear something down. Are you the kind of person that other people are glad to see coming into the room, or are you the kind of person that causes other people to turn their face away? One reason may be that they see you as a negative, discouraged, critical person. Everybody has troubles and problems. Nobody gets a free ride from earth to heaven. How blessed you are if you use your tongue to lift up and encourage the people around you.4. The tongue may be used for witnessing to others.
Proverbs 16:24 NLT
24 Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

NOTE: One sincere & kind word can change a person’s day.

- One word of encouragement...one word that says you understand someone’s pain can help lift a burden that they’re trying to carry.

NOTE: All of us can use more encouragement…but all of us should be giving encouragement as well.

I bet when you read that, you think it is just metaphorical. Any medical doctor or nurse will tell you that’s not metaphorical at all. If you talk to people who work in the healing profession, they will tell you that whenever there is a patient who is surrounded by positive, optimistic, caring people who build him up and affirm him, that person has a much better chance of getting better and will normally recover a lot faster. When you have a patient who is off by himself and has no encouragement, or who is surrounded by negative, critical, pessimistic people, that person will have a much harder time getting better under normal circumstances. Why? Because pleasant words literally bring health to the bones. How blessed are you if you have somebody who comes alongside and uses words to lift you up. Doubly blessed are you if you are an encourager.How many of your words this last week were words of encouragement? How many of your words were words to build up? How many times in the last week did you find it necessary to criticize, to tear down and destroy? My friend Dr. Howe in seminary used to say, “Gentlemen, it takes no size to criticize.” Anybody can sit in the critic’s corner and just tear something down. Are you the kind of person that other people are glad to see coming into the room, or are you the kind of person that causes other people to turn their face away? One reason may be that they see you as a negative, discouraged, critical person. Everybody has troubles and problems. Nobody gets a free ride from earth to heaven. How blessed you are if you use your tongue to lift up and encourage the people around you.4. The tongue may be used for witnessing to others.

- How many times in the last week did you find it necessary to criticize, to tear down and destroy?

- Are you the kind of person that other people are glad to see coming into the room, or are you the kind of person that causes other people to turn their face away?

NOTE: It doesn’t cost us anything to be kind & encouraging to others.

NOTE: I wonder how many people have succeeded in life because someone believed in them and encouraged them.

By the same token, how many people have been held back because someone told them they weren’t smart or didn’t have any talent? I wonder how many people have stumbled through life because someone said they “would never amount to anything”.

- But on the other hand, how many people have been held back because someone told them they weren’t smart or didn’t have any talent?

- I wonder how many people have stumbled through life because someone said they “would never amount to anything”.

4. The tongue can be used for witnessing to others.

Proverbs 10:21 NKJV
21 The lips of the righteous feed many, But fools die for lack of wisdom.

- That means that you can use your lips to help bring people to God. You can use your lips to give spiritual nourishment to other people. 

That means that you can use your lips to help bring people to God. You can use your lips to give spiritual nourishment to other people.  That means that somebody, somewhere, opened their mouth and gave you the gospel. You are a Christian because somebody shared the gospel with you, spoke on the radio, from a pulpit, or because somebody close to you spoke the words of life to you.  What have you been doing to become a tree of life where you work, at your school, to your friends, to your neighbors, to your loved ones? By your lips you should give such good fruit that people come and want what you have.
Proverbs 11:30 NKJV
30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise.
That means that somebody, somewhere, opened their mouth and gave you the gospel. You are a Christian because somebody shared the gospel with you, spoke on the radio, from a pulpit, or because somebody close to you spoke the words of life to you.  What have you been doing to become a tree of life where you work, at your school, to your friends, to your neighbors, to your loved ones? By your lips you should give such good fruit that people come and want what you have.

- That means that somebody, somewhere, opened their mouth and gave you the gospel.

NOTE: You are a Christian because somebody shared the gospel with you.

- What have you been doing to become a tree of life where you work, to your friends, to your neighbors, to your loved ones?

- By your lips you should give such good fruit that people come and want what you have.

II) Wrong Uses of the Tongue

4. The tongue may be used for witnessing to others.
proverbs 17
That means that you can use your lips to help bring people to God. You can use your lips to give spiritual nourishment to other people.
Proverbs 17:27–28 NLT
27 A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. 28 Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.
Proverbs 11:30

1. The tongue can be used for flattery.

Proverbs 13:3 NLT
3 Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything.
That means that somebody, somewhere, opened their mouth and gave you the gospel. You are a Christian because somebody shared the gospel with you, spoke on the radio, from a pulpit, or because somebody close to you spoke the words of life to you.
Proverbs 20:17 NKJV
17 Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.
NOTE: Sometimes the best thing to do is keep your mouth closed.
What have you been doing to become a tree of life where you work, at your school, to your friends, to your neighbors, to your loved ones? By your lips you should give such good fruit that people come and want what you have.

- Flattery is defined as saying positive things to another person for the purpose of manipulating them.

Wrong Uses of the Tongue1. The tongue may be used for flattery.
Proverbs 29:5 NKJV
5 A man who flatters his neighbor Spreads a net for his feet.
says “To flatter friends is to lay a trap for their feet.” Someone has said, “When someone slaps you on the back they generally want you to cough up something.” Flattery is nothing more than fancy dishonesty.

- Someone has said, “When someone slaps you on the back they generally want you to cough up something.”

NOTE: Flattery is nothing more than fancy dishonesty.

NOTE: Flattery and compliments are not the same thing.

Proverbs 20:17

- A sincere compliment (when you affirm something positive about someone) lifts a spirit...it lets people know they are noticed and appreciated.

Flattery and compliments are not the same thing. A sincere compliment (when you affirm something positive about someone) lifts a spirit; it lets people know they are noticed and appreciated. Flattery is manipulative. It is the kind of thing that comes before a sales pitch. Flattery treats other people as a means to an end rather than seeing them as people of dignity and value.

- But flattery is manipulative…and it’s the kind of thing that comes before a sales pitch.

It’s the kind of thing that comes before a sales pitch.

- Flattery treats other people as a means to an end rather than seeing them as people of dignity and value.

Proverbs 26:28
Proverbs 26:28 NKJV
28 A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it, And a flattering mouth works ruin.
That is a picturesque verse. If you get ahead in life by buttering other people up, by telling people what you think they want to hear, what you end up is chewing on rocks.
Proverbs 28:23 NKJV
23 He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward Than he who flatters with the tongue.
Proverbs 26:28
Proverbs 28:23

NOTE: The world tells us that you smooze your way to the top...Butter people up, brown nose your way to the top, tell people what they want to hear.

- But the Bible says exactly the opposite.

The world tells us that you smooze your way to the top. Butter people up, brown nose your way to the top, tell people what they want to hear. The Bible says exactly the opposite. If you rebuke somebody in love, they will love you much more than if you give them empty, meaningless flattery.

2. The tongue can be used for quarreling.

Proverbs 18:6 NKJV
6 A fool’s lips enter into contention, And his mouth calls for blows.
Proverbs 18:6
Proverbs 29:11 NKJV
11 A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back.

NOTE: One of the greatest lessons we can learn is this - learn to control your temper.

Proverbs 29:11

- How many of us have undergone tremendous heartache because at a crucial moment we lost our temper and spouted off when we should have been silent?

Young people, you’ll never learn a better lesson than this: learn to control your temper. How many of us have undergone tremendous heartache because at a crucial moment we lost our temper and spouted off when we should have been silent. A fool says that since you have it inside, you have to get it out. There are a lot of times when if you have to get it out, you’d be better off to go down to the basement, lock the door, turn on the stereo real loud and get it out where nobody can hear you. A wise man keeps himself under control.

- A fool says that since you have it inside, you have to get it out…But a wise man keeps himself under control.

- The fool gives vent to all his anger, but the wise man/woman holds it back.

Proverbs 22:24–25 NKJV
24 Make no friendship with an angry man, And with a furious man do not go, 25 Lest you learn his ways And set a snare for your soul.
Proverbs 22:24-25

- That means we shouldn’t run around with people who act like that.

- Iow’s, if you run around with hot heads, you’re going to become a hot head yourself.

What that means is that we shouldn’t run around with people who act like that. If you run around with hot heads, you’re going to become a hot head yourself. The verse goes on to say, “Or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.”

3. The tongue can be used for gossip.

3. The tongue may be used for gossip.

Proverbs 10:18 NKJV
18 Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, And whoever spreads slander is a fool.
3. The tongue may be used for gossip.
Proverbs 16:28
Proverbs 16:28 NKJV
28 A perverse man sows strife, And a whisperer separates the best of friends.
Proverbs 10:18
Proverbs 16:28
Proverbs 17:9
Proverbs 17:9 NKJV
9 He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends.
Proverbs 17:9

NOTE: Gossip has ruined many people’s reputations…but it’s also ruined a lot of relationships.

That means that you don’t have to tell everything you know. You don’t have to make everything right. You can cover over some things so you can go on with life.

NOTE: Just b/c you know something about someone else doesn’t mean you have to share what you know.

- Three questions to ask yourself whenever you’re tempted to tell something to someone else about what somebody has done:

- Is it true?

- Is it kind?

- Is it necessary?

NOTE: There wouldn’t be any gossip if we used those three questions before speaking.

4. The tongue can be used for lying.

gives us the seven things the Lord hates.

Two of those are a lying tongue and a false witness who pours out lies.

Proverbs 14:25
Proverbs 14:25 KJV 1900
25 A true witness delivereth souls: But a deceitful witness speaketh lies.
Proverbs 14:25 NKJV
25 A true witness delivers souls, But a deceitful witness speaks lies.
Proverbs 14:25
Proverbs 12:19 NKJV
19 The truthful lip shall be established forever, But a lying tongue is but for a moment.
Proverbs 12:19
Proverbs 12:19
5. The tongue may be used to seduce to evil.
Proverbs 5 talks about the lips of an adulteress. It says her lips drip with honey.
Proverbs 12:19 KJV 1900
19 The lip of truth shall be established for ever: But a lying tongue is but for a moment.
Proverbs 6:24
Proverbs 22:14
Your tongue, which is meant to bless God, can be used to drag other people down into sin. Don’t do it.

5. The tongue can be used to talk too much.

Proverbs 10:19 NKJV
19 In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise.
Proverbs 10:19
Proverbs 13:3
Proverbs 13:3 NKJV
3 He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.
That verse is a tough one for a preacher, because I make my living talking.
Proverbs 17:27 NKJV
27 He who has knowledge spares his words, And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.
Proverbs 17:27
Proverbs 13:3
Proverbs 17:28 NKJV
28 Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.
Proverbs 17:28 KJV 1900
28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: And he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
Proverbs 17:27
Proverbs 17:28
Proverbs 17:28

NOTE: That means that you don’t have to have an opinion on everything.

NOTE: That means that you don’t have to have an opinion on everything.

- You don’t have to comment on everything that goes by you in life.

- You don’t have to answer every question.

NOTE: How blessed we would all be if we would learn to listen more and speak less.

CONCLUSION:

1. This morning I want you to think about the conversations you’ve had this week & the words that you have spoken & ask yourself 3 questions...

- Did I speak life or death?

- Were others helped or hurt by what I said?

- What do my words reveal about my heart?

2. Let’s me quickly give you a few tips that will help you Tame The Tongue...

How Can We Tame The Tongue?

A. Admit you have a problem.

- You will never be healed until you admit there is something wrong.

This is an area with which I have struggled for a number of years because I am paid to talk, because I am good at talking, because I can talk myself into and out of almost anything. My tongue has gotten my into trouble a lot of times through flippant comments or sharp put-downs or foolish comments about people’s motives. In preaching this sermon I am really preaching to myself.

B. Memorize

James 1:19 KJV 1900
19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
James 1:9 NKJV
9 Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation,
James 1:19 NKJV
19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;
This is the best single verse on the tongue in all the Bible. It says, “Let every person be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” You wouldn’t have too many interpersonal problems anywhere if you just put that verse into practice.
This is the best single verse on the tongue in all the Bible. It says, “Let every person be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” You wouldn’t have too many interpersonal problems anywhere if you just put that verse into practice.

- This is the best single verse on the tongue in all the Bible.

- We wouldn’t have too many interpersonal problems anywhere if we just put that verse into practice.

C. Ask a friend to hold you accountable.

NOTE: Sometimes you need a friend who loves you enough to tell you to take a time out & not say anything else.

NOTE: Sometimes you need a friend who loves you enough to tell you to take a time out & not say anything else.

D. Yield your tongue to God.

- Have you ever done that?

- Have you ever said, “Lord, my tongue now belongs to you?”

That’s where comes in, talking about yielding the members of your body to God.

- Have you ever told the Lord, “I’ve been using my tongue for myself. I’m now going to use it for you. Here are my lips, let me speak for you. Here is my mouth, let my mouth speak the words that you want.”

Proverbs 16:1 NKJV
1 The preparations of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
says, “To a man belongs the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue.” That verse means the tongue can be put under the Lord’s control. That’s a great thought. Your tongue, which today may be set on fire of hell may become a tongue under God’s control. He can give you new lips. He can give you a new tongue. He can put new words in your mouth. He can baptize your speech. Shall we not yield our tongue to him? Shall we not give him our lips? Shall we not give him our speech? Shall we not say, “Oh, Heavenly Father, here is my tongue, let it speak only for you? Let my words lift up and not tear down.”Hymn 568 says, Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee. The third verse has that wonderful phrase which goes this way: "Take my lips and let them be filled with messages for thee."Oh God, help us today and this week to yield our lips to you and so may they be filled with messages for thee. Amen.

- That verse means the tongue can be put under the Lord’s control.

NOTE: Your tongue, which today may be set on fire of hell can be tamed & put under God’s control.

- He can give you new lips.

- He can give you a new tongue.

- He can put new words in your mouth.

Psalm 19:14 KJV 1900
14 Let the words of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14 NKJV
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.

Let’s repeat those words as a prayer to God!!!

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