I trust you had a good weekend of worshiping the great God who redeemed us from our sins.
This morning I want to share verses 18-21 of Proverbs 10. We have in this section a sequence of contrasts between the mouth of the just and that of fools. Realizing the power of words, and the manner in which they impact others is important for anyone who seeks to glorify God with their life.
vs. 18 - "He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool. The first thought is of a deceitful pretense of a person who pretends to be a friend but is not. The Bible is filled with examples of such pretension; Absalom to Ammon, Joab to Amasa, and Judas to Christ. Lying to mask true intentions is both folly and wicked. It doesn't take any character for a person to slander another. It takes the great character of a person to practice the righteous control of their tongue. It is better to be candid and forthcoming than to deceive.
vs. 19 - "In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise." Very simply, this verse gives warning about speaking much. The more we talk, the greater the potential for one to offend or sin with his words. A person who refrains from speaking much is deemed to be wise. Often idle conversation turns to gossip about others and degenerates into slander of character. Truly, the less we say the better.
vs. 20 - "The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth." What comes from our mouths is in view. Whenever you speak as a believer, your words should be valued and helpful (as choice silver). Colossians 4:6 gives sound direction, "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." There is great value in making sure you answer people in a manner consistent with the teaching of this verse. It is obvious that fools do precisely the opposite (the heart of the wicked is little worth). The tongue is a great barometer in the area of character and Christ-likeness.
vs. 21 - "The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom. Furthermore, the comments of the righteous can be very productive and edifying whereas the babbling of fools is empty and often destructive. The lives of the foolish are shortened by their lack of wisdom.
James 3:2 states, "...If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect (mature or complete) man, and able also to bridle the whole body." This verse implies the most difficult part of the body to control is the tongue. If we can control the tongue we are mature in Christ.
Enjoy your day, and be careful what you say.
Your Friend and HIS,