Attending the National Radio Broadcasters Convention in Nashville in 2003 was an unbelievable honor. We will always be grateful to the church member that gave us free tickets to attend. Meeting Christian writers, pastors, speakers, and musicians was a huge privilege. But more than the endearing reception that a certain pastor/teacher/author demonstrated as he signed books for strangers that day, was the increased respect he gained from me like no other. I will never forget the whole atmosphere of meeting Charles Swindoll. Swindoll wasn’t the only one signing books that day. There was another who, in stark contrast, went about signing his books as if forced to do it. For sure, Chuck signed our books (which he freely gave) as if we were lifelong friends.
It’s quite possible that we have more books in our home written by Charles Swindoll than any other author. And, of course, one of those books is “Living the Proverbs.”
As I began thinking about what part of Proverbs 6 I would draw attention to, the answer wasn’t difficult to find after a Saturday evening with a group of people at a church social or as I stood at my post at the Welcome desk at our Sunday morning church service. And then flipping through the pages of Swindoll’s book just reinforced my thoughts that the Bible is applicable for everyone on the face of this earth, for both the church goer as well as the non-church goer. We are all in need of help with what Swindoll calls “The Most Dangerous Part.”
“Solomon had a lot to say about what we say. In fact, tongue, mouth, lips, and words occur almost 150 times in Proverbs. On average, a reference to speech appears five times in each of the thirty-one chapters.”Living the Proverbs
“There are six things which the Lord hates,Proverbs 6:16-19, NASB
Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
Haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
And hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that run rapidly to evil,
A false witness who utters lies,
And one who spreads strife among brothers.”
We reveal what kind of person we are when we use our tongue: wise or foolish (Proverbs 15:2).
Swindoll continues, You and I realize…that the root problem is not the mouth, but the heart—the person deep within us. Jesus taught, “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart” (Luke 6:45). Just as a bucket draws water from a well, so the tongue dips down and draws up whatever fills the heart. If the source is clean, that is what the tongue communicates. If it is contaminated, again, the tongue will expose it.
Swindoll draws attention to speech that wounds, poisonous words and self-promotion. His advice is — Don’t Talk; Connect! . . . I discovered that it’s virtually impossible to learn anything while I’m talking. . . use the time you have with others to listen well in order to understand more about them. Ask open-ended questions. . . you have an opportunity to learn and gain insight into a realm of that person’s expertise. When the time has passed, you haven’t merely talked; you’ve connected.
Chuck connected with us in those few short moments signing our books.
With whom have you connected recently?