Tuesday, August 8 | Wisdom in Words – Day 44
Read Proverbs 10:8–21
The wise in heart accept commands,
but a chattering fool comes to ruin.
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.
Whoever winks maliciously causes grief,
and a chattering fool comes to ruin.
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
Hatred stirs up conflict,
but love covers over all wrongs.
Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning,
but a rod is for the back of one who has no sense.
The wise store up knowledge,
but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.
The wealth of the rich is their fortified city,
but poverty is the ruin of the poor.
The wages of the righteous is life,
but the earnings of the wicked are sin and death.
Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life,
but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.
Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips
and spreads slander is a fool.
Sin is not ended by multiplying words,
but the prudent hold their tongues.
The tongue of the righteous is choice silver,
but the heart of the wicked is of little value.
The lips of the righteous nourish many,
but fools die for lack of sense.
For many of us, our lack of self-control shows itself in the way we use words. Today’s passage makes a clear distinction between fools who have no discipline or control over their tongues and the wise who exercise prudence and knowledge in speaking. How often do we regret something that just came out of our mouths in a moment of anger, exhaustion, or carelessness? The apostle James (Jesus’ brother) counsels us to be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19), but for most of us, this is a discipline that must be practiced. In our culture, we are much more likely to speak first and listen later (if at all). But a true sign of wisdom is our ability to control our words and to use words to nourish and build up others.
- As you read through today’s Proverbs passage, what stands out most to you? Why do you think that is?
- Who are the people you most often have trouble controlling your words around? How might you practice being quick to listen and slow to speak this week with that person(s)?
God, I know the power my words have on others. Forgive me for the times I have purposefully used words to hurt. Help me to be disciplined in the way I speak so that my words are loving and encouraging. Reveal to me the places where I am too quick to speak and where I fail to listen. Grant me the grace and discipline I need to listen first and to not allow careless or hurtful words to escape my lips. May what I say be honoring to You. Amen.
Click here to receive the daily devotional to your email each morning.
Click here to download the Cultivate Week 6 devotionals in PDF format.