A wise man will be a man of few words, and those words will be ones of positive construction. He who is wise well realizes three things. First, the more you speak the greater the opportunity to speak out of turn. Secondly, he who speaks with lips of guile and foolishness shall receive negative consequence. Thirdly, he who uses his words to brings health and life to the hearers, may increase in favor with God and man. Words are free and therefore they are spent far more than they should be. The tongue has such power to change the course of a person's day (so says the apostle James). Whether it be parting the waters towards the land of despair or setting the helm for the course of encouragement, words go deep into the soul having real and lasting effects. Let us see our text now. The soul of the transgressors shall eat violence. So he that opens wide his mouth to call for strokes shall smart for it. He who asks in sarcasm to be driven by a fist shall surely find one who will eventually oblige. Let us suppose this violence is not physical, why then, Christian, are you in such a hurry to bring another to an emotional hatred of yourself? We must conclude this: that words proceeding from the deep emotions of negativity bring about troubles we would rather not deal with. Taste your own words before you speak; and if they seem bitter to your tongue it shall be as fire to others.
Now we see the positive declared by the Holy Scripture in this matter of fair speech. We may ease our life and promote our favor by choice words! The apple tree's fruit is the apple; the apple is what is produced. So see our text now, words are produced by our mouth, and they are therefore the fruit mentioned in this proverb. A man shall eat good, or live well by his mouth producing spiritual words. Where may we find such words that have the power to uplift? Nowhere but by the influence of almighty God. I have found my best efforts to encourage are of little help if they are not flowing from the fullness of the Spirit. How often meaningful speeches become only irritation to the hearer if they are not bathed in the love of Christ. The eloquent tongue is of little value unless it be spurred along by the Spirit of God. Let all our loves and words flow from the fountain of the new nature bringing forth fruit useful in the service of the Master and meaningful in the edification of the saints. May we pray today, Christian, and devote the safekeeping of our tongues to our most holy God. Do this today for only He can guard against such an unpredictable evil as the tongue!