Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you.
Proverbs 4:23-24 (NKJV)
Have you ever seen a sign that warned you about a possibly dangerous situation? Maybe it was just a sign in a store warning you that the floor was wet, or maybe it was a traffic sign telling you about a lane closure ahead, or some construction that was taking place. In each situation, you needed to be aware of what was going on and be sure to avoid anything that might be potentially dangerous. It is good to have a warning sign if there is a possibility of something being a problem so that more caution can be taken and the problem can be avoided.
In Proverbs 4, we are told to "keep our heart with all diligence", or in other words, we need to be sure to guard our heart. It is interesting to see that the first thing that is mentioned in guarding our hearts, the first warning sign is to avoid the wrong kind of talk, wrong words. While it is not possible to avoid every wrong word that might be said, because we live in a world filled with the wrong kinds of words, as much as we are able, we need to be sure that we avoid the wrong kinds of words that will hinder us spiritually and set us on the wrong course in life.
Proverbs 4:24 tells us to get away from a deceitful mouth and perverse lips. In 2 Timothy 2:16, Paul wrote to Timothy to "shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness", and in Titus 3:9 Paul told Titus to "avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless". These are all warning signs that show us the importance of the words we hear and the danger of listening to the wrong things. Right words are a blessing that will build us up, while wrong words will have a negative impact on our life.