Sweet or Sour?

Proverbs 15

Proverbs 15 28 NIV

I love milk. I drink a lot of it, and the refrigerator on the hospital floor where I work is always stocked with the little 1/2 pint cartons like you get at school. Unfortunately, the fridge is often over stocked and the expiration dates are past due. I go through and throw out the old milk when I have time. But one night there were several cartons that were just a “little bit” expired (like at midnight) so I took them to have with my lunch. My coworkers warned me! “Don’t drink it!” they said. But I’ve done this before and the milk was fine (I think you know where this is going). The first little carton was good. So I took a big chug from the second…. and couldn’t run to the sink fast enough… the milk was sour, bitter, slightly chunky…. disgusting!!! Even after brushing my teeth, it took awhile to get that taste out of my mouth.

And so it is with our words. In Psalms 15, we read over and over about our words, lips, and mouth.  Verses 1, 2, 4, 7, 23, and 28 speak to how we use these things either for righteousness or destruction. We know those parts of us are not acting on their own. In Matthew 12:34, Christ states that “out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

According to Proverbs 15, the person who spurns discipline, correction, and mentorship has a heart and mind full of anger, jealousy, and malice. The words from that person will be destructive, bitter, foolish, and wounding. What is pouring from the heart and out of the mouth is as stinky as sour milk.

Conversely, the person who heeds discipline, wise counsel, and knowledge will bring forth words that are constructive, calming, healing, and wise. What is pouring from the heart and out of the mouth is as refreshing as someone chewing Orbit Sweet Mint gum.

So I’m going to avoid drinking expired milk from now on. I will also avoid behaviors that will turn my words sour. I will seek out behaviors that turn my words sweet; Scriptural study, prayer, and fellowship with the family of God. And I’m also going to keep gum in my purse at all times.


Maria Knowlton

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