Words-Proverbs 15:1-2, 4, 7

Proverbs 15:1-2, 4, 7

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge but the mouth of the fool gushes folly. The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools.”

Proverbi 15:12, 4, 7

«La risposta dolce calma il furore, ma la parola dura eccita l’ira. 2 La lingua dei saggi è ricca di scienza, ma la bocca degli stolti sgorga follia. 4 La lingua che calma è un albero di vita, ma la lingua perversa strazia lo spirito. 7 Le labbra dei saggi diffondono scienza, ma non così il cuore degli stolti.”

In the book of Proverbs, there are frequent references to the positive and negative aspects of speaking. In these four verses, the antidote for unruly speech is advocated. Everyone knows the harm that words can produce. In the first instance, words can create smoldering anger but soft words provide the avenue to calm and rational thinking. Like soothing oil to a wound, gentle words promote self-control.

Second, those who possess words of wisdom provide insight and understanding to a situation while those without it spout senseless words. The word “gushes” literally means that words flow out like bubbles revealing how foolish the speaker is.

Third, words can contribute to a person’s spiritual and emotional health illustrated by the simile of the tree of life that gave blessing in the first garden. In contrast, a subversive tongue can destroy and depress the soul.

Fourth, those who acquire wisdom are happy to share it with others while the foolish are self-centered, thinking only of themselves. Which person in these proverbs do you reflect?

Pray with me: Lord, I know that I have acted wise at times and foolish as well in all four of these scenarios. This day I pray that You will help me to be more conscious of the way I use my words in the presence of others.

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