In our previous Wisdom Note, we explored Proverbs 10:14-17. All of Proverbs give us bits of wisdom to help us live a rich and satisfying life while creating a living legacy. If you miss any of our Wisdom Notes please go to the blog to catch previous installments.
The Book of Proverbs is considered the book of wisdom. This week we will explore verses 18-22 of Chapter 10:
As we continue Proverbs Chapter 10 this week, it is important to keep in mind that our words have a huge impact on others, even when we don’t realize it. I certainly have fallen prey to this many times. This is why we should make sure to choose our words wisely and sparingly. Few people have gotten into trouble by speaking too little, but we certainly understand how easy it is to say the wrong thing when we speak too much. Many of the wisdom nuggets that we will dig for today have to do with our words.
We start with the subject of…
Hiding Hatred – Proverbs 10:18-22
Hiding hatred makes you a liar;
slandering others makes you a fool.
You might ask, how does hiding hatred make you a liar? I think we all know people that are nice to our face, but we know that they really dislike us. We may do the same thing to others. So, how do we make sure that we do not continue this habit ourselves? First, we should forgive other people. Even when someone hurts us, we should not hate that person. Instead, we should pray for them.
If we truly dislike or hate a person but are nice to them to their face, then we are liars. When we hate another person, we are really destroying and enslaving ourselves. We are controlled and trapped by our internal hatred. We need to learn to let it go and to forgive, even if they don’t ask for it or deserve it. To forgive is to set ourselves free. Christ certainly forgave us even though we did not deserve it.
Closely related to this is when we slander others. Slandering others really does make us a fool. Anyone who hears your slander will realize that they are probably the target of it when they are not around. We need to stop gossiping and talking ill about others. We should encourage and build them up.
Too much talk leads to sin.
Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.
This verse really describes most of us well. We all love to hear ourselves talk and expound on our wisdom. We give advice when none is asked for. We become an expert in areas that we have no true experience in. During many a conversation, we go on and on and on, usually about ourselves. When we don’t control our talk, inevitably it will result in saying too much, or the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person. It will lead us to sin. Contrasting that, if we learn to keep our mouths shut, especially when many others are still speaking, then we will become wise and sensible…or at least, appear that way.
The words of the godly are like sterling silver;
the heart of a fool is worthless.
As we learn to only speak when it is appropriate and only speak what is necessary at that moment, we will become more good and godly. Then when we do speak, it will have an effective influence and bring value to others, just like the value of pure silver. Contrasting that is the fool. This person prattles on so much that the quality of their speech becomes worthless due to the quantity of the speech.
The words of the godly encourage many,
but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.
As we learn to control the quantity and quality of our words, then they will become effective and powerful. Instead of insulting others with our speech, we will encourage others. Our words will be good and godly. On the contrasting side of that are those who speak foolishly. When you speak too much, and speak what is not appropriate, it will reveal your lack of common sense. A truly wise person with good sense does not have to speak a lot for others to realize they are wise.
The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich,
and he adds no sorrow with it.
To shift our focus a bit now, we see that our true riches do come from the Lord and are provided as blessings to us. These could be financial riches, but there is so much more in life that truly makes us rich. As Christ-followers, whether we have little or much materially, we should be rejoicing daily in all the blessings that we do have. The Lord wants us to live a rich and satisfying life – one that contains no sorrow. Choose to live abundantly today.
There are so many morsels of wisdom found in the book of Proverbs, and we are taking them slowly. As we uncover each one, let them melt within your soul in the same manner that chocolate melts in a finely made s’more. Let them permeate your thoughts and impact your life so that your living legacy will shine through for everyone to see. We will continue with a few more nuggets of wisdom from Chapter 10 in our next Wisdom Note. In addition to our Wisdom Notes, encourage your friends and family to also join us on our daily podcast – Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.