A Father’s Instruction
I die daily devotional.
23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.
24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth
And put devious speech far from you.
25 Let your eyes look directly ahead
And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.
I take notice in how Wisdom addresses the heart in our previous verse, then moves to the mouth in today’s verse by addressing our speech … before moving to the eyes and addressing our line of sight in our next verse. But why is that do you think? There are certain biblical texts that begin to emerge in my mind, prompting me to consider!
15 Peter asked Him, “Explain this parable [about what defiles a person] to us.” 16 And He said, “Are you still so dull [and unable to put things together]? 17 Do you not understand that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? 18 But whatever [word] comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this is what defiles and dishonors the man. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts and plans, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, slanders (verbal abuse, irreverent speech, blaspheming). 20 These are the things which defile and dishonor the man; but eating with [ceremonially] unwashed hands does not defile the man.”
How we construct our speech reveals the nature of our hearts, and I know when I judge myself by the words of Jesus am found guilty of what He described to be…evil thoughts and plans, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, slanders (verbal abuse, irreverent speech, blaspheming). And that goes without boasting, a head full of shame, but I think it goes without saying my confessions in detail—of which is volumes of books only this world contains—when they’re on display by the truth of Jesus’ words and my life span on this earth … as good as dead.
If we believe in Jesus Christ, having died in baptism, born again through faith, then does our speech not change to reveal the new creatures that we are in Christ? Or if we were to have a conversation, would the knowledge of the truth that all possess in their conscience judge me to be a liar?
Matthew Henry (P4-V24) Commentary
III. We must set a watch before the door of our lips, that we offend not with out tongue (v. 24): Put away from thee a froward mouth and perverse lips. Our hearts being naturally corrupt, out of them a great deal of corrupt communication is apt to come, and therefore we must conceive a great dread and detestation of all manner of evil words, cursing, swearing, lying, slandering, brawling, filthiness, and foolish talking, all which come from a froward mouth and perverse lips, that will not be governed either by reason or religion, but contradict both, and which are as unsightly and ill-favoured before God as a crooked distorted mouth drawn awry is before men. All manner of tongue sins, we must, by constant watchfulness and stedfast resolution, put from us, put far from us, abstaining from all words that have an appearance of evil and fearing to learn any such words.