Your tongue can be a source of great blessing because it can provide people with two things they need.
First, it gives wisdom. ‘The mouth of the godly person gives wise advice. The lips of the godly speak helpful words’ (vv. 31-32 NLT). Paul told Timothy, ‘You have heard me teach [many] things, teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others’ (2 Timothy 2:2 NLT). Pass on what God has taught you to those who need guidance and are hungry for knowledge. Don’t be pushy, but don’t be timid; share with them what God has shared with you. If you give a hungry man a fish he will live for a day; if you teach him how to fish he will live for a lifetime.
Second, your tongue can give correction. Nobody enjoys being corrected. But if you ‘Listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise, reject discipline, you only harm yourself, listen to correction grow in understanding, humility precedes honor’ (Proverbs 15:31-33 NLT). Nobody likes to risk rejection by being the truth-teller, but ‘You can trust a friend who corrects you’ (Proverbs 27:6 CEV).
Three important principles apply here. First, you speak truth on the basis of friendship. If you haven’t proven yourself, leave the truth telling to someone who has. You have to earn that right. Second, truth telling isn’t a licence to go hunting. A true friend cares about others’ feelings, and speaks the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Third, appreciation will come, but be prepared, it may be delayed! ‘In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery’ (Proverbs 28:23 NLT).