Our tongues are powerful. They can build up or tear down, cause pain or help to heal a wounded heart. As powerful as the little tongue is, so often we use it carelessly, without considering what the results will be. So, how should we use our tongues? The Proverbs 31 woman is an example to us in this area as in so many others. She spoke words of wisdom and kindness. Let’s see what lessons we can learn about using our tongues for God’s glory in Proverbs 31:26 and other Scripture passages!
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
1. The Value of Godly Counsel
The first verse in the Proverbs 31 passage compared a virtuous woman to rubies. Do you know what else rubies are compared to in the Bible? Wisdom!
For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
The Proverbs 31 woman is given wisdom by the Lord because she fears Him. She is blessed with spiritual discernment and wisdom, and she doesn’t just keep it to herself. Instead, she opens her mouth and shares this valuable gift from the Lord with others!
There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
2. She Shares the Words God Gives Her
It’s not always easy to be willing to give advice or even just to turn a conversation to the things of the Lord. I know the struggles because I have them too. The Proverbs 31 woman does not let her own sensitivity or shyness keep her from saying the things God gives her to share. She has more fear of God than fear of man.
True, sometimes people take things the wrong way or turn on you because they don’t want to hear godly counsel, but she doesn’t let these fears silence her. Instead, when the Holy Spirit prompts her to say something, she sends up a prayer for help to the Lord and lets Him speak through her.
3. She Uses Her Words Wisely
While the Proverbs 31 woman doesn’t let fear and self-interests keep her quiet, she also doesn’t blurt out everything she thinks. Just because something is true, does not mean that it needs to be said.
The Proverbs 31 woman gives advice when the Lord leads. She also knows how to keep her thoughts to herself and just take things to the Lord that do not need to be shared with other people.
4. She Knows When to Speak and When to Listen
The Proverbs 31 woman speaks encouraging words. They are wise, and they are also kind. She has a compassionate heart for the needs of others. I believe this means that she also knows when to speak and when to listen. To be a good friend and show the love of Jesus, we must know how to do both.
There is a time to speak and share the truth with people. There is also a time to listen and let them share their thoughts and feelings with us. It’s not always easy to tell the difference. We must be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and ask Jesus to fill our mouths with His words!
5. She Speaks the Truth in Love
Speaking the truth is not the only important thing. It’s also important to speak the truth in love out of a pure heart. If we share the truth in a way that is judgmental and condemning, it is probably done out of pride and that is not pleasing to the Lord. Our words may be right, but our heart is very wrong.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
We see in 1 Corinthians 13 that we can do things that look really good, but they profit nothing if they aren’t done in love. The Proverbs 31 woman speaks with wisdom and with kindness. She shows love to the people she is talking to and uses tact and grace. Her words are spoken out of humility and a sincere desire to please the Lord and not to make herself look better or feel good.
We also need to be especially careful with our speech over technology. When we are typing out a message to someone, they have no physical cues to watch and determine what our attitude and expression is. Make sure to be doubly cautious what you say when you are typing it!
6. She Doesn’t Gossip or Complain
Not only does the Proverbs 31 woman speak the right words, but she also refrains from speaking the wrong ones. She doesn’t gossip about others. The problems that people share with her, she keeps confidential and doesn’t talk about them unless it is necessary. She doesn’t speak unkindly about people behind their backs but tries to only say things she wouldn’t mind saying if they were there.
The Proverbs 31 woman also doesn’t complain. All too often, we allow words of complaint into our speech. They have become so common for some of us that we don’t even think about it as complaining. We may complain about the weather, our health, or any kind of disappointment that we face.
The truth is, complaining is sin. It’s not innocent talk, it is complaining against our loving Heavenly Father Who is in control and only allows things into our lives that are ultimately for our good. Instead of complaining, we should be thanking the Lord – even for the hard things because He is good and He is using those circumstances for good too.
Do all things without murmurings and disputing: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.
7. A Few Simple and Practical Ways to Speak with Wisdom and Kindness
- Praise the Lord before others, telling what He has done for you
- Ask questions (What the Lord has been teaching them recently, Favorite Scripture passages, etc.)
- Offer to pray for someone
- Pray and ask God to speak His words through you before you enter a conversation
- Build up and encourage others in following Jesus and doing what He has called them to
- Be careful of what you type on social media as well as your verbal speech
- Ask the Lord to speak His words of wisdom through you. Then be willing to say what He prompts you to say.
- Speak with humility and kindness.
- Don’t gossip about others or complain about the inconveniences and challenges in your life. Instead, praise the Lord!
What are some ways we can speak with wisdom and kindness? Do you have some ideas for how we can speak in a way that meets the Proverbs 31:26 standard?
Until next time, seek the Lord’s help and speak with wisdom and kindness!