The Long Reach of Your Speech

This sixteen weeks series helps us understand that the words we speak can be dangerous and destructive or powerful and edifying. The series profiles eight Pierces of Swords, what the Bible identifies as destructive speech, and eight Apples of Gold what the Bible calls words "aptly spoken."

Proverbs 12:18 (ESV)

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 25:11 (ESV)

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.

Daniel 4:28-35 (ESV)

All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, and the king answered and said, "Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?" While the words were still in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, "O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will." Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles' feathers, and his nails were like birds' claws. At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, "What have you done?"

I Timothy 5:13 (ESV)

Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies saying what they should not.

Ephesians 4:25 (ESV)

Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.

Ephesians 4:29 (ESV)

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

James 3:2-12 (ESV)

For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

Psalm 10:7 (ESV)

His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression; under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.

Proverbs 25:23 (ESV)

The north wind brings forth rain, and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.

Psalm 5:8-9 (ESV)

Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me. For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue.

Proverbs 15:4 (ESV)

A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

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