What the Bible Says About the Tongue and Mouth

What the Bible Says About the Tongue and Mouth by Myra Kahn Adams  for Town Hall

Author’s Note: Readers can find all previous volumes of this series here. The first 56 volumes are compiled into the book “Bible Study For Those Who Don’t Read The Bible.”  Part Two, featuring volumes 57-113, will be published later this year.

Thanks for joining biblical teachings about the tongue and mouth as metaphors for communication. Although the Bible often references both, our brain is the supreme commander of communication, with the mouth and tongue being the literary and symbolic messengers.

Physically speaking, the tongue is not a single muscle but eight different muscles working together, so “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit” (Proverbs 15:4). And:

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“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

Those are the “goalposts” for today’s study — the good and evil formulated by the tongue and mouth, the vehicles for conveying faith, truth, and praise for the Lord.

Now let’s review some blunt comparative wisdom from the book of Proverbs:

“The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Proverbs 12:18).

“Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin” (Proverbs 13:3).

“Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues” (Proverbs 17:27-28).

“From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:20-21). 

“Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble” (Proverbs 21:23). 

The Bible clearly warns us against loudmouths, know-it-alls, and rash, reckless speech. This ancient wisdom holds up well in the modern age and applies to electronic communication that could be considered our new tongue and mouth.

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