The other day my wife and I took on the difficult task of attempting to weed our garden. I believe our crop of weeds is larger than we have ever endeavored. Somewhere, in the midst of tall, overbearing bullies, is a plant trying to grow. Then I read Proverbs 15:4; ?The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.?
In the letter of James is a passage of what damage the tongue can cause to people. But this Proverb gives a choice.
To be perverse is to be deviating from what is right or good, wrong, corrupt (Webster?s dictionary). A perverse tongue crushes the spirit.
Imagine a person overcoming another with speech that is abusive or words that tear another down. Just like a thousand weeds sucking all the good nutrients out of the ground disabling the good plant of growth. Now look at the soothing tongue ? it breathes growth to another.
The good gardener pulls the weeds when they are small, putting nutrients or fertilizer on the plant followed by water causing growth.
Do we use our speech to encourage friends and family members with the words that breathe life into another?
?When C.H. Spurgeon, as a young man, was passing by the house of a woman with a poison tongue, she let him have a volley of impolite words. ?Yes, thank you; I am quite well,? Spurgeon said. Then she let out another volley. ?Yes, it does look like it?s going to rain,? he replied. Surprised, the woman exclaimed, ?Bless the man, he?s deaf as a post! What?s the use talking to
him?? Let us be people who cause others to become strong trees with life.