Read Proverb 15.
The mouth and the words springing forth from it play a pivotal role in wisdom. As you read Proverbs 15 ponder the passages referring to the mouth, words or thoughts. Let’s begin.
Verse 1: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Not only do we learn a soft answer can alleviate wrath, but we are told what causes anger to start with. When we choose to use a soft answer we are stopping anger before it can cause any damage. How often do you choose a soft answer?
Verse 2: “The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.” Have you ever been tempted to say “I told you so”? This verse clearly says the wise use knowledge rightly. I’m confident saying “I told you so” is not helpful to the hearer (Ephesians 4:29). In Verse 28 see another example of using the Word rightly, “The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.” Combine these verses with verse one and it seems to be saying consider your words carefully before speaking. How would you rate yourself on this one?
Verse 4: “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” Every word we speak is planting some kind of seed. Are we planting wholesome seeds bringing life to others? Or are we careless with harsh or negative words tearing others down? Our words matter. Verse 11 says “Hell and Destruction are before the Lord; so how much more the hearts of the sons of man.” Everything we say is before the Lord. We would be wise to remember words spoken cannot be taken back.
Verse 7: “The lips of the wise disperse knowledge, but the heart of the fool does not do so.” Clearly we are instructed to share what we know. We exist to bring glory to God. One way is by sharing what we know about God with others. Verse 9 says “The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but He loves him who follows righteousness.” If we are to follow Jesus’ example, we are called to share our knowledge with others in a gentle way. How often do you share with others?
Verse 14: “The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness.” Our time on this planet is limited. While we are here, consider what we choose to put before us. Continual effort is required in filtering what we feed on. What are you reading, watching and listening to? Is it helpful, encouraging and leading to life? Or does is reek of worldly pleasures, deadly gossip or greedy gain?
In summary, we have learned the mouth plays a critical role in wisdom. It can help us avoid anger when used rightly. It can plant seeds bringing life when shared with others. It can help increase understanding when foolishness is avoided. Now what are we going to do with this new knowledge?
Lord, thank you for your word. Help us to apply it to our lives today. We confess we haven’t always heeded your word. Today, we ask for your help to live according to your way. Enable us to share the knowledge you’ve given us to plant seeds leading to life. In Jesus’ name Amen.
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