What kind of mouth do you have?

The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. (Pr. 10:11). Has there ever been a more accurate saying? Think of your life. I am sure there is at least one person you enjoy being around.  They are positive, uplifting, and encouraging.  That type of person is a pleasure to be around, and discussions are always accompanied by laughter and friendly banter.  When you are having a bad day, they “breathe life” into you again, and you feel as if you can overcome whatever challenge you are facing.  That friend will never allow you to carry your burdens alone and is more than willing to pick up part, or even all of it, to decrease your load.  They are more like a brother or sister than a friend, and you look forward to spending time with this confident and upbeat friend whenever you can.

But, there is also the opposite side of the “friendship” coin.  That person is negative.  They never have a good thing to say, and every discussion spirals downward into gossip and hatred for everyone and everything.  They not only see the glass half empty but usually pour out any remaining liquid until it is empty…and then throw the figurative glass at the object(s) of their hatred.  The small amount of pleasure they derive from being in this world is what they get from their foul-mouthed tirades.  It appears as if the only connection they have to the world, the only thing that makes them feel like they have a purpose, is the negativity.  They denigrate everyone and everything because it makes them feel better about themselves. Not only will they not bear your burdens with you, but they often are the cause for the burden in the first place.  In the third chapter of James, we read about people like that, “…How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire…but no human being can tame the tongue…It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison…”.

While we all struggle to tame our tongues, these nasty people make no attempt to tame it, and they seem to derive a special kind of pleasure by speaking evil things about other people. Like the Proverb says, their mouths conceal violence because of their words.  They cause all sorts of arguments and divisions but never take responsibility for their actions.  Their modus operandi is always to blame someone else and then act like a victim. They are full of hate and loathing for humanity and disrespectful to everyone but expect respect as if it is owed to them. You seldom look forward to spending time with them, and when you do, you regret it fairly quickly.  By contrast, righteous people let their speech be “gracious, seasoned with salt” (Col. 4:6). They are kind and are always the first to encourage. They love their fellow man, are respected and are loved because of their thoughtful speech and attitude.  What kind of mouth do you have?

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