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Today’s Truth

A wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Proverbs 14:1

Friend to Friend

In the past, whenever I’ve read the above verse, I’ve always thought of it in the context of the maternal head of a family, or of a wife. But truly, this “Demolition Debbie” role could belong to a big-mouthed teenaged girl, a disagreeable girlfriend, a disrespectful coworker, or even a dismissive adult sister. Scripture takes care not to label this woman beyond “wise” or “foolish,” giving each of us the opportunity to slip ourselves into this descriptive warning.

How, exactly, does this foolish woman tear her house down? Well, knowing (and being) a woman, I have a strong hunch: Her tongue, Ladies. Most of us have been said to possess the ‘gift of gab.’ And a few of us, myself included, have even been accused at one time or another of having “verbal diarrhea!”

All that tongue wagging can get us in deep trouble. Especially when our speech is sarcastic, full of condescending tone, or littered with insults or complaints. Growing up in a home where sharp tongues reigned and verbal arguments filled the air, I was well-trained to use my tongue as weapon.

Whenever I was frustrated, my tongue would come out in full force. This was an area where the Lord had to deal most pointedly with me, as I was accustomed to tearing down the people in the home of my upbringing. My husband—then fiancé—helped me to see how insulting my words could be one day after receiving a verbal outburst from me. He calmly interrupted me and said, “Hey, I don’t deserve to be spoken to that way.” And he was right, he didn’t.

Over the past three decades, I have made great strides in this area, although I do still, from time to time “have a tone” as my husband would say. The way Jesus began to work on this for me was to show me that out of my heart, my mouth speaks. My heart needed to get right for my speech to reflect the Lord’s grace. Second, I had to realize I was not the Holy Spirit to others, meaning, it wasn’t the job of my comments to reform the behavior of those in my life—it was the job of my prayers and of my God.

Once I filed down my sharp tongue I was able to speak to my children, not scream at them, overlook the insult of a friend, and rather than sharply rebut something my mother, husband, or brother said to me, I could simply chose be quiet. I’ve come to adopt this new slogan: A wise woman once said – nothing!

Friends, I have watched more than a few of my friends and acquaintances tear up their marriages, their relationships with their children, their parents, their siblings, all because of the wild fire that burned within their mouths—their tongue.

A thought occurred to me as I was reading the Book of Job this past summer and thinking about this truth: Maybe the reason Satan didn’t wipe out Job’s wife along with his children was that keeping her and her biting tongue alive was another facet of his torture.

Girl, let’s NEVER allow ourselves to be used by Satan as his weapon in another’s life!

Let’s Pray

Lord Jesus, the last thing I want to be remembered for is that I was great at demolishing my home and the relationships around me. Please, reform my heart and help me to keep a tight rein on my tongue as I seek to be honorable in all I say and do.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn: Paul tells us, in his letter to Timothy, “all Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.” Spend a quiet moment reflecting on each of these verses and allow the Holy Spirit to have his way with you.

James 3:6

The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

Proverbs 12:18

The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 15:1

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 17:19a

Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin…

Proverbs 18:21a

The tongue has the power of life and death…

Proverbs 21:9

Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

Proverbs 27:15-16

A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm;
restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand.

More from the Girlfriends

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Lisa Morrone, PT is a physical therapist, professor, author of six books, radio guest and event speaker who encourages people to “Get Healthy for Heaven’s Sake.” Visit Lisa’s website for more information and to sign up to receive her informative “Monday Morning Health Tips”!

14 Responses to “Demolition Debbie”

  1. Yvonne says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed your message this morning. It spoke directly to me, and I really needed it.

    Please pray for me.

    Best regards

  2. Abby says:

    This hit home with me. Yesterday in Sunday school we went over James & speaking. Then today I read this. God is speaking to me.

  3. Lisa McKinney says:

    Lisa,
    I have found this all to be so true, and you have written it up so well. God bless you for sharing this, and I know it will help remind me, and I pray it helps those that really need it.

  4. Teleda says:

    Yes Father, I certainly hear you! Woman of God, thank you for sharing these scriptures and getting them fresh on my mind as I start this day because I was speaking to my friend last night about my stinking thinking that turns into harsh tones and ugly actions which are not of our Father or how I want to be. my tongue can get quite critical and I use it to speak more life with it instead of hell raising and I guess trying to be the Holy Spirit to others as you have out it! Wow, I am so thankful for this message today as I set out to use my mouth to speak life and graceful words to anything that rubs my spirit the wrong way today.

    Continual Blessings

    • Lisa Morrone Lisa Morrone says:

      Dear Teleda, the tongue is a strong force, but the Holy spirit can wrestle it into submission if we chose to partner with Him and work on our heart’s condition. I love the James passage that reminds us “The anger of man does not accomplish the righteousness of God”. That’ll stop your tongue right in your mouth, huh?!

  5. Kathleen says:

    I pray I am never judged on what I may say in the hours after losing all of my children at once. It is also worth noting that God did not condemn Job’s wife but restored her fortunes when he restored Job’s. God has big shoulders; he can take our laments, as evidenced in Psalms.

    • Lisa Morrone Lisa Morrone says:

      Hi Kathleen, thank you for your comment. I do believe you and I are talking about two different things. Laments are directed at God. They are honest utterances of our deepest frustrations. A biting tongue, on the other hand, is directed towards others with the intent of hurting, shaming, or correcting with haughtiness.

      Job’s wife was not the intended subject of God’s two-fold restitution/blessings. (Though as Job’s wife she certainly benefited from them.) It was Job’s wife who told her husband to curse God and die…revealing her heart did not trust in the Sovereignty of God Almighty. I have watched a number of parents, whose hearts are set on Jesus, lose their children and still bless the name of their Creator. Something to think on further…

  6. Ann says:

    Thank you somuch for sharing this,I needed this I had a bad quarrle with my mother my younger sister and my in-law on Sunday and only because I did not control my tongue now am not in peace, please pray for me to let the Holy spirit control my heart so that my tongue may speak according to the spirit and heal the hearts of my relatives and mine too

    • Lisa Morrone Lisa Morrone says:

      Oh, Ann…I feel your regret! The best thing to do after you have used your tongue as a weapon is to use it as an instrument of peace and apologize to those you’ve sinned against. You won’t get to chose their response to your apology, just your obedience to offer it.

  7. Kami Root says:

    I only just read this devotion. I had to comment, though. This spoke deeply to my heart. I yell at my children. A lot! I will now let the Lord work on my heart and allow Him to get my children to obey without me yelling. I will let Him speak to their hearts. Thank you for opening my eyes and the eyes of my heart.

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