Graham preached last Sunday on ‘Bad Words’ from Proverbs. Bad words include speaking folly, harsh words, gossip and lying. On the subject of gossip here are some proverbs Graham referred to:
The words of a gossip are like choice morsels they go down to the inmost parts (18:8).
A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends (16:28).
Graham also referred to a passage in James about the inconsistency of the the tongue:
‘With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.’ (James 3:9-12)
I read once about sermon called ‘Ten minutes after the benediction’. That is to say we can be in church worshipping and before we have even left the building we can be using our words to wound others. The same tongue that sang praises to God can be used to say unkind things about others a few minutes later.
Why is our tongue so inconsistent? It’s because our hearts are so fickle!
Paul Tripp says this about our words:
‘Our words express what is in our hearts. Whatever is in your heart toward another person—anger, envy, a desire for acceptance—will shape the words you speak to that person. It is impossible for us to keep what we think, feel, and desire from affecting our words.’