Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 4:24
"Put away from you a deceitful mouth and put devious speech far from you"
Solomon continues his press for wisdom with a systematic run through the action elements of your body. He starts in the previous verse with the heart or soul or what we could call the mind and unconscious. Then he speaks in this verse about the mouth. Then in the next verse about the eyes. And then the feet are mentioned. And finally the whole body. These ideas are the main elements of a wise life.
Keep close watch over what you think about. Don't let random thoughts, fantasies, or schemes control your mind for long sections of time.
Don't deceive with what you say. If you become known as a liar, it will destroy your potential. Look at where you are going. Know where you are going. Make sure it is where you want to go. Where you allow yourself to stand is crucial to the success you enjoy in life. There is a level of significant blessing for those who stay on the righteous path and do not allow themselves to be in and around evil. Your whole body should not deviate from the wise path. This can happen by either being too strict or too loose. There is a wise path in the middle; keep your life on that sweet spot.
This is the Hebrew word iqqeshuth, which means crookedness, deceitful. The idea is clearly that if there is one thing that you can do to make sure that you do mess up your life with your mouth, it is use your words to deceive people. This destroys everything else you can do with your mouth.
It is interesting what Solomon does not say is the most important thing you can do with your mouth. He does not say what our modern world might think to say is the most important thing to do with your mouth: to compliment people or cast vision or state your goals or speak positive things to yourself. He says that the most significant thing that you can do with your mouth is not use it to deceive people. Your words are your reputation and avoiding the reputation as a liar is absolutely crucial.
I know some people in Christian ministry who are wonderful people and could accomplish incredible things for Christ, but they are slowly gaining a reputation of being deceptive and tricky in what they say. It is clearly holding them back, but they don't see this. Behind the scenes people just take a pass on interacting with them because there is no sense that what they say can be trusted.
The United States has even had a few presidents who have used language not to communicate but to manipulate people to their way of thinking. People began to get suspicious of the words they used as they changed the meaning of words to suit their own desires. While these men were brilliant in many areas, they did not achieve the impact that their leadership could have achieved because people saw them as deceptive.