The Way of Wisdom: Proverbs 10

Begin this week reading Proverbs 10. (Click on the link to read the verses.)

Did you notice how many times the mouth is referred to in this chapter of Proverbs?

… but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

… but the babbling fool will come to ruin.

… the mouth of the righteous is the fountain of life.

… on the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found,

… The one who conceals hatred has lying lips,

… When words are many transgression is not lacking,

… but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.

… The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;

… The lips of the righteous feed many,

… The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,

… but the perverse tongue will be cut off.

… The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,

… but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.

James has something to say about our tongue as well.

Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?  Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

James 3:4-12

Those who walk in the way of wisdom must become aware of the importance of their talk. The old saying, Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me, is simply not the truth. Because words damage, hurt, and cause pain.

Words start wars and squabbles and divide countries, churches, and families. The tongue is no small matter.

As we begin this week, let’s consider our words. What we say to others.

May we listen more than we speak and offer words to comfort and bless.

Lord Jesus, tame my tongue, because I can’t.

[Feature Image Photo seen on website by Max Langelott on Unsplash]

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