“For ‘He who would love life,
And see good days,
Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.’”
And his lips from speaking deceit
Our “lips” are our speaking apparatus.
“Deceit” – bait, snare, craft, cunning. This term was used for bait for fish. Thus this word conveys any cunning contrivance for deceiving or catching someone.
This is the second phrase dealing with the sin of the tongue. The first phrase, “let him refrain his tongue from evil,” destroys the person. This second category of “deceit” is a phony relationship. It is not a true relationship.
Behind both categories, attitude lurks as the source of these sins. Ultimately attitudes express themselves in the sins of the tongue. Attitude sins are at the root of malicious talk. Hatred manifests itself through the tongue. These sins are incompatible with God’s plan for our lives.
Lips can lie. Our mouths can mask themselves in virtue.
The deception of the tongue is the manifestation of evil from within.
Physically, the tongue is an index of our physical condition. The doctor looks at our tongue when we go to see him. Spiritually, the tongue is an indication of our spiritual condition. It expresses the evil that is inside.
Mt. 12:34, “Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
Lk 6:45, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
James 1:26, “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.”
When we deceive others, there is no true relationship there. Constant deceit means constant illusion in a relationship. The relationship is not what it appears to be. People whose lips are free from speaking deceit tell the truth. Sometimes the truth hurts, but you tell the truth. When we do not tell the truth, the relationship is no relationship, no matter how much jive it appears to have.
A person who sees “good days” will not operate with duplicity. Two-faced people say one thing to your face and another thing behind your back. This is a favorite indoor sport for some Christians.