The days are coming where the truth will be harder to discern. In fact, we're kind of already there. We are surrounded by opinions and 'facts' and stories and perspectives on an increasing array of platforms and mediums. And the issues we're having to grapple with just keep getting more complex. Added to this, as the world becomes more polarised, in some ways it gets harder to find truth without being drawn into one 'side' or another. How can we know the truth, without in some way being entrapped in a particular camp or by a particular perspective?
Consider the Power of the Mouth
'The words of the mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream' (Proverbs 18:4)
When I went on bush walks as a kid, I was schooled on which water to drink. You didn't drink from a still pool of water, because you didn't know what sat lurking at the bottom of the deep waters. There could be a dead animal polluting the water for all you knew. If you drank it, you might end up sick.
On the other hand, you could drink water from a flowing stream, especially a fast flowing stream, because it would be flowing fresh from somewhere. Helpful to know, if you forgot a water bottle or got lost and ran out of water.
Well, the words from our mouth are like the deep still water. We don't really know what we're getting as we drink the words from one another's mouth's. Whereas God's wisdom, is the rushing stream. So what do we do then as we speak and as we listen to others?
Receive From the Hand of Wisdom
'The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat it's fruit.' Proverbs 18:21
The start of this verse literally says, 'life and death are in the hand of the tongue'. God in his wisdom and grace, has put into our mouths the power of life and death. We are the ones who get to speak his wisdom, which leads to life, or to speak folly, which will lead to death. But we also have to discern the truth or lack of truth on the lips of others. The way to be an instrument of life is to love wisdom. Love God's words of wisdom in Scripture and particularly his words in a book like Proverbs. If we love wisdom, we will speak wisdom and we will develop an ear for wisdom.
Are the Words of Our Mouth Really So Powerful
'From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied.' Proverbs 18:20
Proverbs talks about guarding our hearts (4:23), but surprisingly in this verse it also tells us that as we speak words, they will fill us up, for good or ill. God made this world by a Word, he then redeemed it by sending THE Word, the Lord Jesus. We should not be so surprised about the power of words.
How Do I Develop a Love for Wisdom
Reading Proverbs 18, there is all sorts of practical wisdom to be found about how we can love wisdom, when it comes to thinking about the words of the mouth. Friendliness matters (18:1), fools delight in airing their own opinions (18:2), gossip is a deadly poison (18:8) and so on.
Join us on Sundays as we continue to dig deep into God's Wisdom.
About the Author
Jai Wright is a Christian Minister, who founded and leads MAKE Church in Mackay, Qld. He recently published the book, Life Plugged In: Connecting with the Source of Peace, Power and Purpose.
You might like to think a little bit more about your spiritual health, by taking the Spiritual Health Check Score Card here.