Here’s a verse in Proverbs about the tongue that I hadn’t noticed before: ‘There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health’. Prov 12:18. This is not a million miles from this admonition: “A prudent man conceals knowledge, but the heart of fools proclaims foolishness.” What this is about is guarding our hearts, and guarding what comes ‘out of a man’, as Jesus said. We had better be silent, rather than speak. We had rather allow the Spirit to fill us, than to allow empty breezes come from our mouths.
Indeed, if we have not spent time being refreshed and filled by the Spirit of God that day, it is unlikely we will bring anything healthy, or prudent. ‘The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him’, and Jesus tells us not to ‘cast our pearls before swine’. Perhaps, as Cordelia says in Shakespeare’s King Lear, ‘Love and be silent’, is the best policy.
In Romans 8 we are reminded: “If you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” We need to mortify the flesh on a daily basis. What does that mean? I eschew jealousy, I eschew pride. I lay down my rights. I lay down my pleasures. I give up my contentions and my smallmindedness. I want to dance in the river. I want to be unburdened! I lay aside all weights and the sins of the flesh that easily entangle. I turn my eyes away from evil. I speak words of peace and life in my heart and on my lips. I look at the Cross and let it break me, let it remind me, that He gave up everything so I could be clean. I am not a dog to return to its vomit or a pig to go back to the mud.
I am a new creation, and I want to live like it!