6 The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them.
13 An evil man is trapped by his sinful talk, but a righteous man escapes trouble.
14 From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him.
17 A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies.
18 Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19 Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.
22 The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful.
23 A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself, but the heart of fools blurts out folly.
25 An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.
Do you see it? Each of these verses has to do with the tongue or the mouth. Like James says in chapter 3 of his book:
“We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.” James 3:2
Who can do that? Who can be perfect? Not one of us, of course. But James is pointing out (as is Solomon in this Proverb) that our words have power to build and power to destroy. The encouragement for me today is to be careful what I say, how I say it, when I say it and why.
Lord, help me think before I speak. Help me to use my words to help heal and not harm. Fill my heart with Your love and my lips with kind words so that I can be used to cheer people up.