The Deadly Sins of the Tongue


“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Prov. 18:21).

The title for today’s devotional is adapted from a chapter in Robert Morris’ book The Power of Your Words. There are so many challenging nuggets of wisdom in Proverbs relating to our speech, so today we are going to look at a few of them.

Deadly Sin #1: Lying – Telling the Untruth:

In the list of the seven things the Lord hates, the second one is a lying tongue (Prov. 6:16-19). Even though this is one of the most common, widespread sins that people commit, that doesn’t mean God approves of it. Proverbs 12:22 tells us that “lying lips are an abomination to the Lord.” God hates lying!

Deadly Sin #2: Strife – Stirring Up Division:

Another item on the list of the seven things the Lord hates is one who sows discord among brethren, or stirs up strife. Proverbs 6:15 warns us that these people will be destroyed suddenly, broken beyond all hope of healing.

Deadly Sin #3: Gossip – Dishing the Dirt:

A gossip is a person who habitually spreads intimate or private rumors or facts. The Bible warns us about such people: “A gossip tells secrets, so don’t hang around with someone who talks too much.” (Prov. 20:19). Don’t gossip!

Deadly Sin #4: Slander – Passing Along False Information:

Slander is worse than gossip because it is a false, malicious statement about someone. Proverbs 10:18b says, “whoever spreads slander is a fool.” The Bible warns us not to keep company with a slanderer (1 Cor. 5:11).

Deadly Sin #5: Talebearing – Breaking Confidences:

“A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.” (Prov. 11:13). In the church, people should feel safe to confess their sins to one another and know that what they share will be kept in confidence.

Deadly Sin #6: Contentious Speech – Habitually Speaking Strife:

Someone who is contentious is argumentative, combative or quarrelsome. “It is better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a contentious wife in a lovely home.” (Prov. 21:9). God doesn’t want us to be argumentative.

These are only a few of the ways that we can speak death into other people’s lives. But don’t forget that we also have the power in our tongue to speak life, encouragement, affirmation and blessing into people’s lives, too!


Pastor Chris Jordan

About Chris Jordan

Husband. Father. Author. Pastor. High School Bible Teacher. Follower of Jesus. And I enjoy a good cup of coffee!
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