LOVING WORDS IN COMMUNITY
Read: Proverbs 10:11-14
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. (NIV Proverbs 10:11-14)
Study: The four sayings in today’s reading all focused on various ways that our words either build up or tear down those who hear them. Most of the 375 wisdom sayings recorded in Proverbs 10:1 through 22:16 show few if any signs that the sayings were arranged by topic. Here, however, the two-line sayings stating opposing aspects of reality all offer insight into living together in community. Proverbs tends to divide the human family into people of righteousness, love and wisdom, or people who are wicked, hate, have no sense and speak foolishly. Most of us, if we’re honest, recognize some parts of our self in both sides of the equation. In what ways have you seen your use of words grow wiser over the last few years? Has this, as verse 12 suggests, reduced the amount of conflict in your life?
Prayer: Lord God, you are the ultimate source of all true wisdom. “Live out your life within me,” in the words of the old hymn, and teach me your wisdom for life. Amen.