Destructive Words. - Ecclesiastes 10:12-15.
April 4, 2023, 8:10 AM

Destructive Words


Eccl. 10:12-15

  1. Words from a wise man's mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his own lips.
  2. At the beginning his words are folly; at the end they are wicked madness--

In many ways words expose what is in our hearts. Jealousy, competition, contempt may be what we feel. But our jabs and put downs toward others reveal it is foolish to talk in destructive ways about another. It too often comes back at us.

Gossip is destructive. It is not gracious. In Hebrew poetry and proverbs, we see contrasting statements to make a point. The opposite of graciousness would be unkind. Instead of speaking kindly to another it is foolish to speak in unkind ways.

Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” Speech can also be attractive and effective and be persuasive for good. It was Abraham Lincoln who said, "It is better to remain silent and let people think you are a fool, than open your mouth and remove all doubt."

A neighboring pastor told how someone in his church did not agree with how he was running a particular program. Instead of speaking to him directly, and discussing her concerns in a gracious and kind manner, she talked to others and said destructive things about him. Foolishness grew as people passed on this gossip. People started to take sides to support the pastor and others who were her friends supported this woman. It led to confrontation that could have been avoided. Unfortunately, many were affected by her foolish words.

The words we speak do damage and one of the most destructive ways is to gossip. The apostle Paul planned to come to Corinth since there were many divisions among the church. He addressed the root of much of the problem when he said, “For I am afraid that when I come, I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.” 2 Cor 12:20 Those are destructive and unkind words. When those words are spoken it grows instead of diminishes. A person may begin with foolishness and it continues to absolute madness.

Lies can be that way. They can begin with just a little white lie and escalate into death and destruction. It can be something so small and grow into something so horrible. Rumors can begin with just a little spicy information and in the tongues of fools devastate people and families. More damage is done by Christians in churches through vicious gossip and muttering tongues than any doctrinal heresy or financial or moral scandals.

Some young people that have turned away from the church because of the critical words they heard at home against the preacher, against the leaders, against he programs, against the Sunday School teachers. Then parents later wonder why kids don't want to come to church.

Watch your words today and see how often you might be tempted to put someone else down by your words. Catch yourself when gossip is spoken and let the Holy Spirit season your talk with that which is gracious and kind.