Many years ago, I was told that good speakers have at least three characteristics in common: They stand up, speak out, and sit down.
The book of Proverbs is full of good principles for you and the way you speak. Proverbs 4:24 is a good example: “Remove dishonesty from your mouth. Put deceptive speech far away from your lips.”
When you consider the underlying principles of this verse, you see that:
- Dishonesty needs to be removed: Whenever it moves in you need to move it out.
- Dishonesty is a nasty dish of lies that should never be allowed to nest in your mouth.
- You should never be receptive to deceptive speech: Put it far away from your lips.
In Proverbs 10, Solomon highlights the benefit of wholesome speech:
- The mouth of a righteous person is a fountain of life (verse 11).
- The tongue of a righteous person is pure silver (verse 20).
- The lips of a righteous person feed many (verse 21).
If you’ll take the time to compare the words of Solomon to the teachings of James, you’ll see a well-defined contrast:
- Solomon likened the tongue of the righteous to pure silver.
- James said the unrighteous use of the tongue will “defile the whole body.”
Listen to the manner in which you speak and the tenor of your conversation. When you become more aware of what you say and how you say it, you get a better idea of the real you. This is because your speech or your tongue is the index of your heart.