“The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.” (Proverbs 15:28)

There is a saying, “The pen is mightier than the sword”. It teaches us that written words can at times do more good or damage than physical weapons. The same applies to spoken words. The Bible tells us that “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21). Therefore, we must be careful in the use of our tongues to promote the cause of Christ and not of Satan.

Proverbs 15:28 tells us that the difference between the righteous and the wicked is in the use of their mouths. The righteous man is restrained and considerate with his words. Even before he speaks, his mind and heart will ponder carefully each word before it arrives to the lips. The verb “ponder” (hāgāh) has the picture of someone muttering under his breath as he mulls over something again and again. Thus, we have a picture of a man who is not quick to answer. Rather, he will contemplate whether his words are truthful and edifying, and not a reaction based upon lustful thoughts and emotions. His speech is well thought-out and not off the cuff. His conversation would be edifying, well-timed and needful, with each word calculated to promote the glory of God and to uphold truth.

On the other hand, the mouth of the wicked shows no restraint. His words are like a bubbling brook that keeps pouring (nāba’) over its banks. Whatever he thinks, he will speak. There is no consideration whether it is truthful or edifying. Nothing is off limit! As a result, his words bring much damage to others and the cause of Christ. His speeches are peppered with dishonesty, flattery, rebellion, slander and blasphemy. The stinking nature of the mouth knows no bounds!

Dear friends, let us be careful not to be rash with our words. We must not adopt the expression, “I’m just being honest”, as an excuse for thoughtless speech. Nor should we go to our brother with unjustified angry words, and claim, “That’s who am I! I’m not a hypocrite!” Such behaviour is not wisdom but foolishness! When we are rash with our words, we will end up hurting not only ourselves but others too. “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” (James 3:5-6) James also says in his epistle, “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” (James 1:26)

As Christians, we must submit our conversation to the control of the Holy Spirit. When we do so, the Lord will teach us what to speak. “The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.” (Prov. 16:1) The words that we speak will be like “apples of gold in pictures of silver” (Prov. 25:11).

O, be careful little tongue what you speak!

THOUGHT: Has my speech been edifying?
PRAYER: O Lord, guard my lips!


The principle of “the restrained mouth” also applies to what we post on social media. We may at times be tempted to respond rashly to a friend or an event that has happened in our life. When we do so without due consideration, we may end up saying that which are unbecoming of Christians. Pray before you post!

On the other hand, let us also be careful with whatever photos and videos we upload. Let there be no appearance of evil or worldliness. “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thess. 5:22)

The root problem though is not just the postings but the life we live. If we have been living blamelessly before the Lord, why should there be any worry that there will be appearances of evil in our photo and video postings? Thus, the urgent need of the hour is a more considerate walk before the Lord. Walk closely with Christ, and your postings will glorify His name.

“And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:” (1 Pet. 1:17) God sees and knows what we post, even if we think we can hide behind the auto-delete function of Snapchat.

O, be careful little fingers what you post!

Lovingly in Christ,
Preacher Clement Chew