Proverbs 10 illustrates in many different ways the behaviour of the wise and the foolish. One big area in which we need to live wisely is in regard to our words. What we say reveals what is in our hearts. And we need the Lord to help us grow in wisdom, so that we speak wisely.
If we find ourselves not speaking in a wise way, then we need to repent of our foolish hearts and ask the Lord to instil His wisdom in us and to express His wisdom with our words.
Here are some examples of how to speak wisely:
- The wise person stops to listen, while the fool chats endlessly (prates), never stopping to listen (v.8,10).
- The wise person speaks words of life that builds others up, while the fool’s mouth is violent and tears others down (v.11).
- The wise person speaks words of wisdom, while the fool is void of understanding (v.13).
- The wise person lays up valuable knowledge, but what the fool says will be destroyed (v.14).
- The wise person does not slander or hide hatred behind lies (v.18).
- The wise person chooses his words carefully because he knows that much speaking often leads to sin (v.19).
- The wise person’s words are like choice silver and feed many people, while the words of the fool are of little value (v.20-21).
- The wise person speaks acceptable words of wisdom, but the mouth of the fools speaks perverse things for which he will be punished (v.31-32).
What are your words revealing about your heart? Are you swift to hear or swift to speak? Do you build up or tear down with your speech? Do you lie to try to cover your hatred and contempt for others? Do you slander? Are you careful in what you say? Do you have something good to say that will bless others?