Proverbs 18:20-21 One of my most hated tasks as a homemaker is cleaning out the refrigerator. I always dread it because I come up with some pretty nasty-looking and smelling items. Some fruits have turned into penicillin. There is nothing more smelly or nasty than rotten fruit. Bugs and flies are attracted to rotting fruit. Today’s proverb tells us, “A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; from the produce of his lips he shall be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Have you ever bitten into an apple and discovered it was rotting around the core? Many times I have looked forward to eating a banana, but when I peel it, it is all dark and mushy on the inside. Whatever words we speak, we often will have to eat them. We eat the fruit of our lips, and too often the fruit of our lips is rotten fruit. Whenever we speak a negative, critical word, we will have to eat the rotten fruit of our lips. Recently my husband and I have been teaching a marriage enrichment course, and these sessions have been very revealing. So far we have only had one couple to come, and we are grateful for this since this couple is all we can handle. When we gather, the husband and wife do nothing but pour out accusations against one another. The room is filled with negative, critical, hurtful words, and I can almost smell the rotting fruit.
Jesus tells us that living water should flow out of our bellies, not rotten fruit. James compares the mouth to a fountain: “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom” (James 3:8-13, KJV).
Rotten fruit from our lips results from rotten unforgiveness, resentment, anger, pride and bitterness within us. When we speak unkindly to one another we are poisoning our own bellies and the bellies of others. Negative words cause the person delivering them to have indigestion, and also the one who hears them to have an upset stomach. Just as bugs and flies are attracted to rotten fruit, demon spirits are attracted to rotten words. Think about this today.
READ: 1 Chronicles 5:18-6:81; Acts 26:1-32; Psalm 6:1-10; Proverbs 18:20-21