A Well of Life
“The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.”
What you say is often more important than what you do. The words you say will either be words of life or words of destruction, evil and harm. I’m always amazed at what words come out of the same mouth. The Book of James talks about how the mouth can be a well that can say sweet words, and then in the next sentence say bitter words. It ought not to be this way with the believer. Your mouth should be a well of life to everyone around you. Proverbs 10 gives seven steps to follow to be sure that your mouth is a well of life.
First, don’t say things that are knowingly hurtful. The verse above talks about violence coming from the mouth. If you want your words to be a well of life, you must be careful about saying hateful things about people. You must carefully guard your words that they don’t become words that would hurt people. If you know that what you are about to say is going to hurt someone, it would be best not to say it at all.
Second, don’t say something when you don’t know the whole story. Verse 13 talks about the mouth that is “void of understanding.” Be careful about talking about situations when you don’t know the whole story. In fact, don’t talk about situations that are not in your area. Keep yourself from conversations that talk about assumptions instead of facts.
Third, be a person of few words. Verse 19 warns about the “multitude of words.” Be brief in what you say instead of being a person who always has to say something. Too much talk always leads to wrong conversations.
Fourth, be just in your speech. Don’t say to one what you would not say to another. Verse 20 challenges the believer to have a just tongue. In other words, talk to everyone the same way. Don’t be a person who talks to people of status one way, and people whom you consider of less importance another way. Every person should be treated the same and should be talked to the same.
Fifth, use words to build and not to tear down. Verse 21 teaches that your words should feed people. In other words, do the words that come from your mouth words build or are they words that tear down and destroy others. You must be careful that you carefully use words to build people because the believer’s agenda should be to build up and not tear down.
Sixth, use words that cause others to do right. Verse 31 teaches the importance of having righteous lips. Never allow yourself to get into conversations that become coarse or vulgar. Your words should be pure words and not words that would cause people to sin. The best conversations are filled with words that challenge people to do right and not words that embellish sin.
Seventh, be controlled in what you say. Don’t speak uncontrollably. Verse 32 warns against speaking uncontrollably. Saying what is on your mind will always hurt others and will cause your words to be a well of destruction and not a well of life. Know what you are saying is right for the time. If you will live a righteous life, you will find the words that come from your mouth will be words used to give life.
Let me ask you; is your mouth a well of life or a well of hurt, evil and destruction? Your goal should be to use words that will help people to get closer to the LORD.