I have a verse of the day widget on my Bible app on my phone. Today’s verse came from Proverbs 15, verse 4 (hence the title of my blog). It says:
A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit
This kinda got me thinking. What EXACTLY counts as “perverseness.” Sure, we all know it means to twist the truth etc etc, but I think that can include a lot more than blatant disregard for “right vs wrong” I looked up the meaning (from the free dictionary website)
1. Directed away from what is right or good; perverted.2. Obstinately persisting in an error or fault; wrongly self-willed or stubborn. 3.a. Marked by a disposition to oppose and contradict. b. Arising from such a disposition. 4. Cranky; peevish.
I think we are all most aware of the definition being that of what number 1 says. We know that perverse is when we twist the truth. This is what Satan likes to do a lot. Satan takes things that God intended for good, twists them JUST enough that they are PERVERSE and therefore no longer following God’s truth. Sadly, I see this a lot in our culture. God intended sex to be good, but there are so many things out there that make sex perverse. God intended, yes even wine, for our enjoyment, but we can make that perverse and bad things can happen. God intended the joy of laughter to be good, but Satan has made even that perverse by the types of jokes that come out of our mouths in order to get that laughter. However, I think this verse includes A LOT more than some of these more “duh moment” types of perverseness.
Let’s see what part of no 2 says: wrongly self willed or stubborn
Yikes. How many times do we act this way? We get on our little high horse of what WE think is RIGHT or what WE think is WRONG. Nothing else matters. We disregard what anyone else says because WE are right. We become stubborn, unwilling to see both sides, unteachable, and therefore, I believe cause harm to the body of Christ, ourselves, and those we are trying to reach for the gospel.
I hate to say this, but Christians, we can sometimes be THE. WORST. at doing this. I was talking to a friend yesterday (she is a non believer) and she told me she does not understand why Christians just fight each other over stupid things. WOW. Guys. That is a really bad example of Christ. PERVERSION. We like to get into these arguments over non essentials. We fight back and forth. We tear each other down with words and our attitudes. We think that OUR way is the only right way, and the only RIGHT way for a “good Christian” to do something. What kind of message does this send? What kind of message does it send about the Christ we gave our lives to?
I think that is perversion of the gospel message.
Ok, how about no 3 (I am focusing on letter a): Marked by a disposition to oppose and contradict.
Now, as Christians, there are things that we SHOULD oppose. Things that go against the Word of God. I mean, we should follow God’s law above man’s, right? However, I think this opposition has a tendency to go too far and our speech becomes perverse. When we take a stand in a unloving, unbiblical, unchristian manner, that can perverse God’s grace, mercy and love. When we focus too much on what we are opposing, or the “rules”, and forget about the people involved in those things, we cause perversion to the love of Christ. We get so involved in opposing we forget that there are people, who desperately need Christ, on the other side of those oppositions.
And lastly, no 4: Cranky, peevish
Oh boy. I may as well just go stand outside right now and wait for the lightening of the most high to strike me down. If you say you have never been cranky, then I would watch out. God’s lightening can reach inside, you know 😉 HAHA.
Really, in all seriousness. This too, is perversion. When we are cranky, complain alot, worry, or anything else that causes us to be cranky, our speech becomes perverse. Our speech tears down, rather than builds up. I don’t know about you, but when I am tired and cranky I am much more likely to snap, complain, yell, or say things I don’t mean. ALL of those are perverse.
So, yes, I know that is A LOT of ramble about that one verse… but I hope that it made sense. I hope that you were able to take some things from it that I did. I hope that God can speak to your heart on this as He did mine. I know that I definitely do not always have gentle words. If I am honest, I probably have perverse words many times a day.
Lord, help me to have gentle words. Help me to speak graciously, even when standing for your Truth. Help my heart to be full of grace, just as you are with me, every day. Help me to remember that perverse words breaks a spirit, and that if their spirit is broken, they may run further from you and YOUR saving grace. Help me to remember that in all I say and do to honor you.