Truth, Lies, and the Tongue
Over the next month, Time With God will be studying the book of Proverbs. Although we will read an entire chapter each day, the study questions in Digging Deeper will focus on select verses addressing a specific topic.
Remember the saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”? We all know by now that this sentiment is not true. Words can hurt. The tongue is such a small part of our body yet yields such big results. If you have lived any amount of time on planet Earth, you have experienced consequences, good or bad, in regard to words. Today we are going to learn how our words are directly linked to whether we believe the truth or whether we believe lies.
- In what way do you underestimate the power of your words?
Read the Word
Proverbs 12 (ESV)
12:1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates reproof is stupid.
2 A good man obtains favor from the Lord,
but a man of evil devices he condemns.
3 No one is established by wickedness,
but the root of the righteous will never be moved.
4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.
5 The thoughts of the righteous are just;
the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
6 The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
but the mouth of the upright delivers them.
7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
but the house of the righteous will stand.
8 A man is commended according to his good sense,
but one of twisted mind is despised.
9 Better to be lowly and have a servant
than to play the great man and lack bread.
10 Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast,
but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.
11 Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.
12 Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers,
but the root of the righteous bears fruit.
13 An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,
but the righteous escapes from trouble.
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.
15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
but a wise man listens to advice.
16 The vexation of a fool is known at once,
but the prudent ignores an insult.
17 Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence,
but a false witness utters deceit.
18 There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19 Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
20 Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
but those who plan peace have joy.
21 No ill befalls the righteous,
but the wicked are filled with trouble.
22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
but those who act faithfully are his delight.
23 A prudent man conceals knowledge,
but the heart of fools proclaims folly.
24 The hand of the diligent will rule,
while the slothful will be put to forced labor.
25 Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down,
but a good word makes him glad.
26 One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor,
but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
27 Whoever is slothful will not roast his game,
but the diligent man will get precious wealth.
28 In the path of righteousness is life,
and in its pathway there is no death.
(Today’s questions focus on verses 17-20 and 22.)
- What does the tongue of the wise bring (vs. 18)?
- What does verse 19 say endures forever? In contrast, what lasts only for a moment (vs. 19)?
- What does verse 22 tell us is an abomination to the Lord? And what is the Lord’s delight (vs. 22)?
- What do these verses tell us about truth and lies? How are they tied to our heart and our speech?
- What can you specifically do today to realign yourself with the truth of God’s Word in regard to your speech?
Respond to God
Words have power. They can bring healing or destruction. As we learned above, “deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil.” Our speech will reflect what’s in our heart. Simply put, you know someone is being deceitful if they are telling a lie. The same goes for believing truth. When we choose to believe the truth, we will want to tell the truth. So, our speech is directly tied to what we believe. If we are being deceived in some way, then we will struggle with believing lies. But when we align ourselves with honesty by choosing to believe God and his Word, we will want to speak the truth, bringing delight to the Lord.
- If you are believing a lie in an area, confess it, and recognize you have been deceived.
- Ask God to help you be aware so that the next time you can choose to believe the truth.