A fool walks into a fight
“A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating. A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul. The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.” Proverbs 18:6 - 8 (ESV)
Have you ever seen someone looking for a fight? They walk around ready to jump into an altercation at any moment. Solomon says that a fool's lips are just waiting for a beating. It's as if your mouth is walking around just asking to be punched. On top of that, the fool's lips are a trap for his soul. The way we speak to people matters.
The book of James has plenty to say about the tongue as well. “So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!” (James 3:5). For something so small, our tongues can create some serious problems. Have you considered the relationship we have with our mouth? Fire is an incredible force: it can bring warmth, cook food, and light a path. Fire can also burn down cities and bring destruction. How fire is used determines its outcome. Our tongue is like fire, it needs direction and containment or it will cause havoc in the world.
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10 (ESV)
The Lord is a tower of safety in times of trouble. We are safe inside His presence. Do you need a place to rest your head? Run to the tower of the Lord. Do you need a safe space to be honest? Take refuge in the tower of the Lord. Even though we can’t stay in the tower forever, we can retreat there in our time of need. There are other places offering for rest but these do not offer the same rest and peace you get with the Lord. The wise person seeks out the strong tower and rests in the goodness of God.
Are you satisfied?
“From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is satisfied by the yield of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” Proverbs 18:20 - 21 (ESV)
Is your stomach satisfied? If you are eating food that is good for you will be satisfied. The same is true about your speech. Junk food tastes good in the moment but doesn’t offer satisfaction in the end. Cake for breakfast is probably fine on your birthday, but it's not the best choice as a daily staple. If you use your tongue to cut others down, gossip, and spread lies you might not end the day feeling satisfied; empty words are like dessert for every meal. If you speak life and truth to others and use your tongue for building good in the world, you will be satisfied. You can choose death or you can choose life merely through the words you speak.
Reflect and Respond
You cannot solve all of the world's problems. They are vast and overwhelming, even on the best of days. One thing you can do is decide what comes out of your mouth; you can decide how you will speak to other people today (and the internal dialogue you have with yourself as well). Choose to speak life into the world and you will feel satisfied. Take shelter in the goodness of God and trust that He will work through you today.