November 28, 2017


Proverbs 26:13–28

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13   The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road!
    There is a lion in the streets!”
14   As a door turns on its hinges,
    so does a sluggard on his bed.
15   The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
    it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.
16   The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
    than seven men who can answer sensibly.
17   Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own
    is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.
18   Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death
19   is the man who deceives his neighbor
    and says, “I am only joking!”
20   For lack of wood the fire goes out,
    and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
21   As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
    so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
22   The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
    they go down into the inner parts of the body.
23   Like the glaze1 covering an earthen vessel
    are fervent lips with an evil heart.
24   Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips
    and harbors deceit in his heart;
25   when he speaks graciously, believe him not,
    for there are seven abominations in his heart;
26   though his hatred be covered with deception,
    his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27   Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
    and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
28   A lying tongue hates its victims,
    and a flattering mouth works ruin.


[1] 26:23 By revocalization; Hebrew silver of dross


Key Verse | Proverbs 26:20

For lack of wood the fire goes out,
and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
(Proverbs 26:20)

Central Truth

Whether it is yelling words in anger, speaking without thinking, or adding to the gossip, we all struggle with our tongues. God gave them to us, and He also gave us a way to help control them!

Devotional | Proverbs 26:13–28

When the weather gets cool outside, I love having friends over to relax and sit around the firepit in my backyard. It’s so much fun to hang out, laugh at silly stories, and roast delicious marshmallows for s’mores!


When the weather gets cool outside, I love having friends over to relax and sit around the fire pit in my backyard. It’s so much fun to hang out, laugh at silly stories, and roast delicious marshmallows for s’mores!

But I have a confession: I can’t start a fire. No matter how many matches I use, I just can’t seem to get the wood to catch. And if that wasn’t bad enough, once someone else gets the fire started, I can’t even keep it burning.

It seems like Proverbs 26:20 might be helpful for me and anyone else with a similar struggle. “For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.” While this verse helps us remember to kindle the fire for s’mores, it also helps us remember that controlling our words can put out fires of gossip and arguments.

Our tongues are very powerful. James 3:8 says, “[B]ut no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” Yikes! That doesn’t exactly sound hopeful.

But before you do something drastic, like cut off your tongue, let’s investigate a little more. Other verses in today’s reading tell us why our tongues can be so destructive, and it has to do with our hearts. We see this answer again in Luke 6:45: “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” 

If our tongues can’t be tamed, they can at least be influenced by our hearts. When we inform our hearts by reading Scripture, studying God’s Word, and surrounding ourselves with other believers who remind us of truth, then the words we speak will start reflecting that. And the next time you have the opportunity to flame a fiery argument with your words, you can instead, “Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” (Ephesians 4:29b, NLT)

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Bio | Tara Fenton

Hey there! I'm Tara, and I'm so excited to spend this morning with you! I love chocolate chip cookies, glitter, my dog Sofi, my huge family, frozen yogurt, candles, and summer days at the beach. I love Sunday mornings because I get to spend them with the kindergarten and first-grade kids in K1 Race (Watermark's church service ministry for those grade levels) where we worship God and learn about who He is! Even though fall isn't my favorite season, do you know what is perfect this time of year? Sitting outside by the fire, roasting marshmallows for s'mores, and spending time with friends!

Discussion Questions

1. With whom do you struggle to control your tongue the most? Is it when communicating with your spouse, chatting with your friends, or in conversations with your boss? Who can you ask to help hold you accountable in the way you speak to them?

2. Take a minute to think about your heart. Are you filling it with the truth of God’s Word every day? If not, why? If you are struggling with knowing what to read and how, please join us in Equipped Disciple!

3. Read Psalm 19:14 and let that be your prayer today.

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