Proverbs 15:1-4

In Proverbs 15:1-4 Solomon begins by reminding us to use honey rather than a stick to address challenging situations. When people come to us in wrath, we are often tempted to be harsh in response. Wisdom shows us the value of a soft answer, one without sharp edges or points. That kind of answer can actually turn away wrath. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger”. A harsh response to wrath will often only stirs up more anger. It may feel good at the moment, but ends up making the situation worse, not better. We indulge in sarcasm as if we would rather lose a friend than miss scoring a point in the argument. All this the world excuses. But the Gospel shows our Savior’s example. Jesus never responded that way, and was not harsh, even with those who wanted Him dead.

Next Solomon addresses the power of the tongue.  It’s such a small part of our body, yet the words that flow from it have the potential to change the world and to adjust us too. Wise people share wise words and discuss knowledge, not just chit chat with no real purpose. “The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly”. On the other hand, those who are fools just let their mouth run with little or no filter and control.  From the mouth of a fool will flow foolish things. Often those words can be destructive and cause great emotional pain.  It is why it is so important ot seek God’s truth and walk in His ways so the words we speak will honor Him.

God has His eyes on us.  There is no hiding.  There is no getting away.  We can’t stick our head in the sand and pretend God doesn’t see what is going on in our lives.  He is everywhere.  There is no hiding place He doesn’t know about.  Our sin will find us and show itself to God. So we have to be sure to live His way. “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good”. God is keeping score.  It’s a simple scorecard.  The requirement for entry into heaven is pretty straight forward – it is perfection in obeying God’s commands.  You failed, and so did I. So the only option that remains is to claim the power of Jesus name so God can forgive our sins and allow us to enter His eternity based on the shed blood of a Savior.

Solomon reminds us that good words are like a tree that continually brings life from its shade and also bears fruit. Our words have the power to do far more good than we often think. We can impact others in a significant way by the words we speak. “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit”. In contrast, if someone’s tongue is perverse (twisted, crooked, corrupt) instead of wholesome, their words will break the spirit of others. Our words have the power to do far more harm than we often think. God is watching how we interact with those in our patch, and our words are one key area that He pays attention to.  They have the potential to deliver life, or cause destruction.  We must use our tongue to build up!

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