Wisdom and the Tongue
God compares the tongue to a helm. It determines the course of our lives. “Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!...The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked (Jas. 3:4-5; Prov. 10:11).
The book of Proverbs contains more verses on the tongue than on any other subject. This little member can get us into a bunch of trouble, or minister grace to others.
The writer of James says one cannot tame the tongue. “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (Jas. 3:8).
However, if we submit to the Creator, He will give us wise tongues. Wisdom comes from Him.
The wise woman lays up knowledge by consulting her Logbook, the Bible, often. Humility and a willingness to learn characterize her speech. She guides her ship in the path of truth. She turns away from gossip and slanders not her neighbors. On the other hand the foolish woman thinks she is wise, but she knows nothing. Her mouth steers her in the paths of destruction. She gossips and hurts others by her talk.
God calls the wicked lips froward and perverse. This helm refuses to comply with God’s laws. Thus it leads the ship in the way of destruction. It devises mischief continually and sows discord in neighborhoods and in churches. The coral reefs along the shore ensnare it. Soon the Creator will silence such in judgment—hell fire. Sometimes, this trap catches the redeemed. If we hang around rough pirates, our speech will pick up their bad language. God warns against this wicked helm.
The virtuous woman “openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness” (Prov. 31:26). She speaks the truth in love from a tender heart. She forgives those who have wronged her. However, sometimes wrong words come out of our mouths.
Excerpt from Our Lifeship: Studies in Proverbs