Solomon's Proverbs: Speech
Fools, scorners, and wise are known by talking. Speech reveals character and indicates the future. The heart is known by listening to one's speech. Words prove honesty or falsity; they provide health or pain to others; they cut or heal; they cause kings to befriend you or inferiors to reject you. Solomon had much to say about what you say and how you do it!
Your tongue has power of life or death! Speech can promote or destroy you. Many have ruined their lives by unruly mouths. Others have been exalted for kind and wise words. Your speech will bring God and man's blessings or curses.
The more you talk the more you sin. Words get us in trouble, so make them few. A simple rule is to cut your words in half! Silence is golden in a context like this. If you must talk a lot, prepare well before and soberly reflect later.
Answer not a fool, lest you lower yourself to him. Answer a fool, lest he think he is right. It is wrong to debate them. They do not deserve knowledge or truth; wisdom is too precious to waste on them. Wisdom knows the balance.
That was uncalled for! Have you ever heard those rebuking words? Righteous men are discreet in speech and say acceptable things. Wicked men talk foolishly and destructively. Do you know the difference? Do others agree?
Do you nobly study before answering? Or do you blast off with whatever comes to mind when asked? If confronted with a subject you do not know well, a safe response is to ask for time to study. This is wisdom! Do you have it?
Lies prove hatred! Flattery causes ruin! Most think lies are victimless crimes. Most think flattery is exaggerated goodness. But Solomon had observed the destruction of both, and by God's inspiration he condemned them both.
You never slander, lying to hurt a person's reputation? Good for you. But tattling, which is telling the truth about a person that did not need to be told, is just as hurtful and sinful. God hates this wicked crime. Do you?
A glorious proverb! Kings will befriend the person with gracious speech! Solomon had seen this with his father David and Jonathan. But his inspired wisdom tells the secret of how it is done. A pure heart that rules your mouth!
Those are fighting words! In any confrontation, your words can end or escalate the strife. What will you choose? Wisdom learns how to calm angry persons. Relational success depends on ending others' wrath, especially superiors.
A fast answer does not prove knowledge or wisdom. Haste makes waste, even in speech. Slow down! Think first! Make sure you know your subject before talking. A person that talks fast and answers quickly is worse than a fool!
Your life is in your mouth! If you guard your speech, you will be prosperous and successful. If you open your lips whenever you feel like it, you will be destroyed. How? In your marriage, in your profession, and in every part of life.
Words get most people into trouble. If you can learn to choose and measure speech carefully, you can avoid much pain in life. You have spoken and observed words causing problems, just like Solomon. But he had the answer for it!
A woman's mouth has great potential for good and evil. A virtuous woman always speaks wisely, and a law of kindness rules her words. But most women destroy life's tranquility with their cackling, critical, contentious nonsense.
Do your words leave others bleeding or growing? If you are caustic, critical, or sarcastic, others are bleeding and trying to avoid you. If you are gentle, gracious, and kind, they are growing and seeking you often.