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!
Speech Proverbs of Solomon: Audio Commentaries
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue:
and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
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.
“A talebearer revealeth secrets:
but he that is of a faithful spirit
concealeth the matter.”
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?
“In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin:
but he that refraineth his lips is wise.”
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 according to his folly,
lest thou also be like unto him.”
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.
“The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable:
but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.”
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?
“The heart of the righteous studieth to answer:
but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.”
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?
“A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it;
and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.”
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.
“A soft answer turneth away wrath:
but grievous words stir up anger.”
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.
“He that loveth pureness of heart,
for the grace of his lips
the king shall be his friend.”
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!
“Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words?
there is more hope of a fool than of him.”
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!
“There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword:
but the tongue of the wise is health.”
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.
“Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue
keepeth his soul from troubles.”
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!
“She openeth her mouth with wisdom;
and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”
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.
“He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life:
but he that openeth wide his lips
shall have destruction.”
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.