The tongue that heals is a tree of life,
but a devious (deceitful, perverse, crooked) tongue breaks (fractures, ruins, crushes) the spirit.
When I read this tonight I thought at first of a person who would purposely twist the truth; a less attractive word for it: lying. I would not say I am a person who struggles with dishonesty. But when I look into the roots of these words, I see that I certainly am guilty of this struggle when I see another meaning!
The word devious comes from the word celeph which means "to twist, distort, overturn, ruin or turn upside down." While my intent is not to consciously lie, if I choose to pervert His word by tearing down, speaking harshly or cruelly to, mocking, rudely interrupting, or any form of speech that is contrary to love and respect, I am guilty of deviating from the correct path.
The truth of God's word tells me that the person to whom I am speaking is a treasured child of God who is worthy of respect and kindness, and if I choose to speak to that person in any way that deviates from that truth, I am at that point speaking with a devious tongue. And conscious or not, it is damaging. Crushing, actually.
Oh! Let me be a tongue that brings healing to my husband. Let me be a tree of life for my children! Holy Spirit, speak to me before I speak words that will crush the spirit of another and hurt You.