My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!"

13 August 2005


"Talk is cheap." Or so it goes, the idea being that actions speak louder than words, that people are tired of promises unfulfilled, etc. Here's the problem:

Proverbs 12:6 - The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the mouth of the upright delivers them.

12:14 - From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man's hand comes back to him.

12:18 - There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

James 3:2 - ...if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.

Indeed, John encourages us to love not just with words, but with actions (1 Jn. 3:18), and Proverbs has a lot of stuff to say about diligence and action. But I would like to petition you gentle readers to never think that talk is cheap. Our words are what God uses to draw people to comfort in Christ, to alleviate anxiety by pointing to the Savior, to bring needed truth, to be a fountain of love.

I'm working on Proverbs 12 for the sermon tomorrow. Here's a spoiler: those righteous in Christ are people who plan their words, who think through conversations, who devise clever and gracious ways to speak love to another, who delight to speak truth. Plan your words. God is profoundly concerned with what comes out of mouth. It is not cheap or unimportant; rather, our words are the bricks and mortar of the kingdom of God. The words of the church build the kingdom, right alongside the church's works.

1 comment:

ellyn olivetti said...


I have been waiting to see if someone was going to respond to this section of your blog. I think no one has said anything because we're all wary of our words! And, we all, I think, have trouble in this area and are convicted by Scripture. I know I was convicted by what you wrote.