I was reading in Proverbs 10 this morning about the tongue and what an awesome instrument it can be, both for good and for evil. And it caused me to think about the words we speak daily.
Proverbs 10:11 The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked. (KJV)
Proverbs 10: 20-21 The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is of little worth. The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for lack of wisdom. (KJV)
The other Scripture that came to mind this morning was 1 Corinthians 15:33:
Be not deceived. Evil communications corrupt good manners. (KJV)
Some of the other translations substitute the words “bad company” for “evil communications. But doesn’t it stand to reason that keeping bad company and hearing words that are not uplifting would cause our minds and our hearts to flounder?
The Bible says that we are snared by the words of our mouths. Snared…the picture in my mind’s eye is of a trap set for something (or someone) to walk into. The tripwire is released and it (or they) are hanging, often upside down, and unable to free themselves.
How many times to we let words fly, whether in the heat of the moment, in a moment of anger or hurt, and they become a snare for us? Words hurt. They wound, sometimes deeply. Word wounds are not often easy to see, but they scar just the same.
Think about the company you keep, that your children keep, the communication that they see on a daily basis. It is evident by the words that come out of a person’s mouth what kind of company they’ve been keeping, what kind of communication they’ve been hearing. On nearly a daily basis, I am hearing words come out of the mouths of teenagers that I know they hear at home as part of their daily lives, that they are hearing on a daily basis from their friends, on the media that they watch, the music they listen to. And, I am constantly reminding them to mind their mouths, that their communication offends me. It inevitably leads to a “sorry” on their part. But it amazing to see how easily those words “slip” out of their mouths.
There is an old saying that says that you are known by the company that you keep. It’s sort of a paraphrase of Proverbs 13:20:
He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. (KJV)
You are the company you keep. Foolish friends will destroy you. Wise friends will help you to succeed. Don’t be deceived. Allowing evil into your life will cost you your good manners.