Mouths And Motives
“The mouth of the righteous is a well of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked. Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.” Proverbs 10:11-12
When the Word speaks, as He does here, and identifies the righteous by certain character traits, it is intended not so much to separate perfect people from imperfect ones, because we are all imperfect. Rather, it is intended to show us what we ought to be and what God intends for us to be as we grow and mature in the knowledge of Him.
The things we say, the Bible says, proceed from what’s in our hearts, whether good or evil.
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45
The questions for us are: “What things are coming out of our mouths, Life or death? And what are the motives behind our words, to bless or to curse.”
If we are the righteous, our words ought always to be words of life and words that bless those who hear them. The wicked are those who love to speak death, division and strife. But we are of a different Spirit. We are the children of Life and that more abundantly. When we mix our words with life one moment and death the next the Word says this ought not to be.
“Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” James 3:10
Are we motivated in the things we say by love or by strife and hatred, particularly when we feel threatened or when our anger is raised against someone? Our motives also reveal what is in our hearts.
The wicked breathe violence, hatred and strife. Witness the acts of the jihadist and other terrorists and those who perpetrate murder and mayhem against the innocent to satisfy their blood lusts, anarchists and rioters are among them.
Too often those with a false perception of God’s love and grace will attempt to justify these wanton acts of violence by blaming society, or the poor upbringing of the perpetrators, or even more often the economic status that led them to hate those who have wealth while they live in poverty or they hate their parents wealth because they were force to grow up in the “lap of luxury.” Envy and jealousy are rarely mentioned as causes. Greed and lusts for power and domination of others are rarely mentioned also.
Nevertheless, those who are righteous are not to be moved by them in any way, neither to hate or to envy, nor to judge or to condemn. That we leave to God.
“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.” Psalm 37:1-2
Finally, for us, it is enough to cover sins by love. Not to rehearse our own or dwell on the sins of others. Love motivates us to live, speak and act in ways that edify, encourage and inspire others with life. Yes, we are the salt of the earth and we are the light of the world. [Matthew 5:13-14] The salt that we produce ought to bring flavor and enhance the joy of life not be poured into open wounds and bring pain and irritation. The light that we shine should illuminate a pathway to God’s grace and mercy, not blind the eyes of those groping in the darkness.
We are the righteousness of God in Christ. We are called to be blessed and to be a blessing to others by our words and our actions and by the loving motivations of our hearts.