Proverbs and the Tongue

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Text:  Proverbs

Thesis:  To demonstrate from the book of Proverbs how the tongue should be used.


1.              One of the things with which many people struggle is the control of the tongue.

2.              James wrote about the tongue (James 3.5-10).

a.              It is a little member that can kindle a fire (James  3.5).

b.              We must be on constant guard of our tongue (James 3.7-8).

3.              Col. 3.17 – “[…] in word […] in the name of Jesus […]”

4.              What we say probably affects more people than any other action we take.

5.              The book of Proverbs gives special attention to words and how they are used.

6.              Four common speech patterns are described in the book on which we will focus in this sermon.

a.              The Careless Tongue

b.              The Conniving Tongue

c.              The Caring Tongue

d.             The Controlled Tongue


I.                   The Careless Tongue

A.            Those with this speech pattern speak lies, curse, and are quick-tempered.

B.            They speak before they think.

C.            E.g., John Rocker

D.            One that slanders another is called a fool (Prov. 10.18).

E.             The mouth of the wicked speaks deceit (Prov. 10.32; 12.17-18).

F.             A perverse tongue is a breach in the spirit (Prov. 15.4).

G.            We must not have a backbiting tongue (Prov. 25.23).

H.            The mouth of the foolish leads to destruction (Prov. 10.14).

I.               We must seek to give thought to the things that we say, but also remember that we speak out of the abundance of the heart (Matt. 12.34).

1.      A curse word slips out

2.      Why was it in there to come out?

J.               “If you don’t have anything good to say, then say nothing.”

II.                The Conniving Tongue

A.            Those with this speech pattern are filled with wrong motives, gossip, slander, and twist truth.

B.            What about those who say and do things only for personal gain, but are thinking something else (Prov. 6.12-15)?

1.         Here is a man with deceit in his heart that will wink at you not meaning any good at all.

2.         What is his end result?  Sudden Calamity (Prov. 6.15).

C.            The Lord hates pride, arrogance, and deceit (Prov. 8.13).

D.            One with deceit will only sow strife (Prov. 16.28).

E.             One must not bear false witness (Prov. 25.18).

F.             A Christian is not to be a “politician.”

III.             The Caring Tongue

A.       Those with this speech pattern speak truthfully while seeking to encourage.

B.       One acceptable unto God has the lips of righteousness (Prov. 10.32).

C.       The tongue of the wise is health (Prov. 12.18).

D.       A good word makes the heart glad (Prov. 12.25).

E.        Solomon writes of how good it is to speak a word in “due season (Prov. 15.23).”

F.        The words of the pure are pleasant words (Prov. 15.26).

G.       Pleasant words are as honey (Prov. 16.24).

H.       “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” (Prov. 25.11)

I.          A Christian must be truthful and speak with love.

IV.             The Controlled Tongue

A.            Those with this speech pattern think before speaking, know when silence is best, and give wise advice.

B.            He that refrains his lips is wise (Prov. 10.19).

C.            A man of understanding holds his speech (Prov. 11.12-13).

D.            He that keeps his mouth keeps his life (Prov. 13.3), and it is a tree of life (Prov. 15.4).

E.             A soft answer turns away wrath (Prov. 15.1).

F.             The heart of the righteous studies to answer (Prov. 15.28).

1.              The heart of the wise teaches his mouth (Prov. 16.23).

2.              He that hath knowledge spares his words (Prov. 17.27-28).

G.            One that keeps his tongue is one that keeps his soul from trouble (Prov. 21.23).

H.            “Swift to hear, slow to speak” (James 1.19)


1.              We have looked at four common speech patterns of which 2 should be avoided and 2 should be practiced.

2.              Are you known to be a Christian by your speech?


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