1 The proverbs of Solomon: A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.
2 Ill-gotten treasures have no lasting value, but righteousness delivers from death.
3 The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
4 Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.
5 He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.
6 Blessings crown the head of the righteous, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.
7 The name of the righteous is used in blessings, but the name of the wicked will rot.
8 The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.
9 Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.
10 Whoever winks maliciously causes grief, and a chattering fool comes to ruin.
11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
12 Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.
13 Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of one who has no sense.
14 The wise store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.
15 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city, but poverty is the ruin of the poor.
16 The wages of the righteous is life, but the earnings of the wicked are sin and death.
17 Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.
18 Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips and spreads slander is a fool.
19 Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.
20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value.
21 The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of sense.
22 The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, without painful toil for it.
23 A fool finds pleasure in wicked schemes, but a person of understanding delights in wisdom.
24 What the wicked dread will overtake them; what the righteous desire will be granted.
25 When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.
26 As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so are sluggards to those who send them.
27 The fear of the LORD adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short.
28 The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.
29 The way of the LORD is a refuge for the blameless, but it is the ruin of those who do evil.
30 The righteous will never be uprooted, but the wicked will not remain in the land.
31 From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be silenced.
32 The lips of the righteous know what finds favor, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.
Verses 11, 13, 18, 19, 20, 21, 31 and 32 all talk about speech and words that come out of our mouth.
Growing up I was teased a lot and made fun of. The words that came out of people’s mouths towards me would be classified as curses. People did not hold back either, they let the words fly without giving a second thought. As much as a I hated all that I was called I too fell into name calling and when I was upset I would lash out allowing words to come out of my mouth that were not nourishing.
Both of my parents used profanity, my Dad more than my mom, nonetheless, it was all around us. We were told we should not use those words but it was ok for my parents if they did. It was my understanding back then, one of the great benefits to becoming and adult was to be able to use profanity. I did not really use these types of words until I was in middle school and then when I was at school I started talking and using profanity in my regular talk, just to try to sound cool. I was not very good at it and at a certain point I stopped, I really did not like using those words or else God convicted me, but I stopped using them in my every day conversations.
The same was similar in my relationship with my sister growing up. We would say whatever we thought or felt to each other without giving little thought to what we were saying, only to use it to try to hurt each other. In college, my sister and I lived together for a while. I remember one time when I just let loose on my sister and called her horrific names. I think she was just so dumbfounded by what I said to her she could not respond. As I think back to many of the word we said to each other and specifically that one event, I am saddened by my choice of words that came from my mouth.
As I have gotten older, the impact of words and what comes out of our mouths has changed my whole view and outlook on life. What happened in my family growing up is truly an example of double standards and unwise parenting. Because of it, it has affected my way of parenting, being a boss, and a person as a whole.
The unwise comments and words used by others towards me did nothing to make me feel better as a person or build me up. They drained me and made me feel worse about myself. The same goes for what my sister and I said to each other, we never held our tongues; we just let the words fly.
What have I learned or what wisdom have I gained?
In raising children, I would never say or tell my children you are a brat or you were bad. I separate out their actions from who they are as a person. I tell them the choices they made were wrong or incorrect but the words I use for correction are still to build them up and nourish them, not destroy them.
As a boss, I know that again my words and actions can hurt and crush my employees. Motivating them does not come words and phrases that are mean and cruel. I am trying to nourish them, build them up, and allow them to feel good about the job they do and use their skills to benefit others.
As a man, I want to be wise. I want to be a man of righteous character. I want the words that come from my mouth nourish and encourage others. I want to build others up, be a source of encouragement, and help people see the good in themselves. As I continue to grow older, I see the value in holding my tongue when I want to say something I should not. Having the wisdom to know when to say something and when to be quiet. Wisdom daily teaches me I can do better at the words that come from my mouth. As I age, I want to be known as someone who is wise in all areas of my life and anytime I had a conversation with you, you walk away feeling built up, better and filled with life more than when we entered into that conversation.