23 July 2017 PM – Proverbs 17:7 – Comm17 – Scott Childs
Introduction: (Psalms 139:4) “For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.” Since the Lord hears every word that comes from your lips, if He gave you a dollar for every kind, good and excellent word you said and took a dollar from you for every unkind, bad or worthless word you said, would you be rich or poor? I am afraid that many of us would be struggling to stay out of debt.
Transition: This evening we are going to focus our attention on what God says in the book of Proverbs about excellent speech.
1. Excellent Speech is Prudent
To be prudent is to be careful and sensible; marked by sound judgment.
a. It is lacking in fools
1) (Proverbs 17:7) “Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.”
2) If we lack excellent speech, it is because we are living like a fool. That hurts our pride, but it is true.
b. It is thinking before speaking
1) (Proverbs 10:13) “In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding.”
2) (Proverbs 16:23) “The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.”
3) (Proverbs 17:27) “He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.”
4) (Proverbs 18:13) “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.”
c. It seeks to heal not harming
1) (Proverbs 12:18) “There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.”
2) (Proverbs 15:4) “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.”
2. Excellent Speech is Diplomatic
Diplomatic is using or marked by tact in dealing with sensitive matters or people
a. It is caring
1) (Proverbs 14:3) “In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.”
b. It is controlled
1) (Proverbs 15:18) “A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.”
2) (Proverbs 25:15) “By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.”
c. It is calming
1) (Proverbs 15:1) “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”
2) (Proverbs 16:14) “The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it.”
3) (Proverbs 29:8) “Scornful men bring a city into a snare: but wise men turn away wrath.”
3. Excellent Speech is Pleasant
a. It brings gladness
1) (Proverbs 12:25) “Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.”
2) (Proverbs 15:23) “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!”
3) (Proverbs 16:13) “Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right.”
4) (Proverbs 29:6) “In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare: but the righteous doth sing and rejoice.”
b. It is bonding
1) (Proverbs 15:26) “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.” (root: to glue together)
2) (Proverbs 24:26) “Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer.”
c. It is sweet or precious
1) (Proverbs 16:21) “The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.”
2) (Proverbs 16:24) “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”
3) (Proverbs 20:15) “There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.”
4) (Proverbs 25:11) “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”
d. It is kind
1) (Proverbs 22:11) “He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.”
2) (Proverbs 31:26) “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”
4. Wisdom Exhibits Excellent Speech
a. We remember that wisdom comes from God
1) Wisdom is the God-given ability to make right choices.
2) The more of God’s wisdom we have and use in our lives, the more excellent our speech will be.
b. Wisdom is our mentor
1) Listen to the words of wisdom.
a) (Proverbs 8:1) “Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?”
b) (Proverbs 8:2) “She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.”
c) (Proverbs 8:3) “She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.”
d) (Proverbs 8:4) “Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.”
e) (Proverbs 8:5) “O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.”
f) (Proverbs 8:6) “Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.”
g) (Proverbs 8:7) “For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.”
h) (Proverbs 8:8) “All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.”
i) (Proverbs 8:9) “They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.”
2) There is a sense in which God’s Words are His wisdom. The better we know the scriptures, the more wisdom we have at our fingertips. The more of God’s word that abides in us the more wisdom we have to use.
3) We must not forget Solomon’s poor example. He was the wisest man to ever live (other than Christ), and yet he lived a good portion of his life as a fool. God had placed His wisdom in Solomon’s heart, but Solomon failed to apply it to his daily life. He was lustful, immoral, married scores of wives, failed to biblically rear his children, etc. That is why your goal and mine must not be just to accumulate Bible information but to daily use Bible wisdom to govern the way we speak, act, think, and live.
Conclusion: As we conclude this evening, we would be wise to recall Jesus’ words in (Matthew 12:36) “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” An idle word is a word that does no good. Though God is not going to take a dollar from us for every idle word we speak, He has a record of them and we will have to give account for every one on judgment day.
Now is the time to prepare for that day by disciplining ourselves to use only excellent speech. We ought to pray as the Psalmist. (Psalms 19:14) “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”
If your speech has not been excellent, you know what you must do. You must get alone with God on your knees. Confess your sin. Then do your best to see the forgiveness of those you have hurt with your tongue.
Chorus: “Search Me, O God”