This is the third broadcast in a series on the unruly evil of the tongue [Jas 3:8]. There are many things that can come out of our mouths that are contrary to God and harmful to others. Today we are going to study the proud, froward, naughty, raging tongue.
Proud tongue – Ps 12:3 – This is the tongue of those who are proud, those whom God resists [Jas 4:6]. According to Ps 12:3, “The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speakest proud things.” David said that the Lord is going to cut that tongue off. He’s letting their proud tongues wag right now. But he’ll shut them down in due time. Read Ps 2:1-5, 9. They’ll be taken in their pride [Ps 59:12]. You can tell this tongue because it uses the words “I” and “Me” a lot. It is a tongue that demands its own way and always speaks as if it is right. But do you know what the Lord says? It is the tongue of a fool. Prov 14:3 “In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride.” Nabal, in 1 Sam 25:10-11, 14-17 is an example of a man with a proud tongue.
Froward tongue – Prov 10:31 – “the froward tongue shall be cut out.” Like the proud tongue, the Lord is going to cut this tongue out, as well. A froward tongue is not easily controlled; it’s stubbornly willful, ungovernable. James said, “the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison,” [Jas 3:8]. Job’s three friends are examples of men with froward tongues. Look at these references: Job 4:1-2; Job 11:1-3; Job 15:1-3; and Job 20:1-3. When Job spoke about his trial, they couldn’t resist commenting. And look what the Lord said about them in Job 42:7. They weren’t right.
Naughty tongue – Prov 17:4 – “a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.” A naughty tongue is wicked, bad, and evil. You see this tongue a lot in Hollywood movies, bars, and politics. Stay away from this tongue. Eph 5:3-4, 11-12 are excellent verses that warn us from speaking with such a tongue. The Pharisees are an example of men with a naughty tongue. See Jesus’ comments in Matt 12:31-37.
Raging tongue – Hos 7:16 – “their princes shall fall by the sword for the rage of their tongue.” This is the uncontrolled, angry tongue. This is the tongue that fumes with anger. Shimei is an example of a man with a raging tongue [2 Sam 16:5-8, 13]. Don’t rage at others. Get control of your spirit through temperance and then speak without raging [Ecc 7:9]. And when others are in a rage against you, don’t reply. You’ll end up in a rock fight that you cannot win.
Conclusion: these are descriptions of the tongue that is an unruly evil. This is the tongue of the natural man. When you get saved, the Lord wants to fix your tongue and make it the tongue of a righteous man. “The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,” [Prov 10:32].