Proverbs 12:18 ESV
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Let’s start things off with a bang.
“… 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” (James 3:6). Thus says James to the readers of his letter, and in so saying, he echoed the wisdom of Proverbs. A man’s words are a terrible weapon, capable of immense destruction and earthshaking beauty.
We’re all familiar with hurtful words. Sometimes people, especially people you love, can eviscerate you, intentionally or not, with their tongues, causing so much harm you almost wish they would just punch you. These ‘sword thrusts’ can create lasting wounds, festering and hurting for years to come.
Words can harm you in another way too: they can lead you into deceit. Jesus spoke with reason when he said, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6). To lead another into sin is anathema to God, and the tongue is perhaps the most potent tool by which such evil deeds are accomplished.
Even for the elect of God, whom He has called and assured by His promise that they shall never from Him be taken (Romans 8:31-39), may be grievously harmed by such lies. As John Bunyan’s Christian discovered when he took the council of the Worldly Wiseman, lies not sufficiently examined can lead to utter ruin; in this case, they led to the desperate danger of Mount Sinai, of the crushing weight of the law (Pilgrim’s Progress, Part 1, Chapter 1).
The words of the wise, though, are different. As Proverbs 12:18 assures us, they ‘bring healing’. How?
The tongue can bring healing in many ways. Wise council can add “length of days and years of life and peace… to you” (Proverbs 3:1). The truth, however hard to accept, is a reflection of God’s character (Romans 15:8). Stories, written by men of wisdom, can frame the world in a way which leads man to God, as the greatest story, that of God’s Word, will show us (Psalms 136).
The words of the wise are, because of the wisdom God has granted, in harmony with God’s character, with the sanctification and purification of His world. Thus, these words also aid man, uplifting him to be more like unto his Creator, for the glory and majesty and dominion of God forevermore.
Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.