Proverbs 12-14
(The Wise Control Their Tongue)
July 3rd

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

Fools think their own way is right,
but the wise listen to advice.

- Proverbs 12:15 (NRSV)

Summary of Chapters

Today’s group of chapters continues the alternating comparative verses of things the wise do versus things the evil or unwise fools do.

Chapter 12 includes many verses related to how people speak to one another. Good use of our speaking facilities includes the following practices:

In chapter 13, some of the key topics are diligence and honesty, such as these verses: “The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied (13:4)” and “Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow (13:11).” The end result, as described in this chapter is that “The righteous eat to their heart’s content, but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry (13:25).”

In chapter 14 we see a number of common themes describe the characteristics of a fool. Some of the attributes that identify a fool are as follows:

Reflection and Application

Someone once said that “the pen is mightier than the sword.” However, the tongue can be more dangerous than the pen because the words sometimes fall out quicker then we wish, and there is no way to erase them.

What did Solomon mean when he pointed out that the “evil man is trapped by his sinful talk?” He may be referring to the difficulty of hiding one lie with another, or the challenge of keeping the truth from slipping out, either as a boast or an accident. The righteous man escapes trouble by not trying to deceive people and not worrying about hiding the truth. Moreover, the wise person uses words to build up, not deceive, and learns to hold his or her tongue when confronted or disappointed.

This advice about our speech is as valuable today as in Solomon’s day. We have many new ways to record our thoughts, such as word processing software, text-messaging, Twitter, and video-recording, but we still struggle with the same challenges of how we respond with our voice. In fact, some of these same challenges have seeped into other forms of communication because of their instantaneous nature.

We can study these proverbs and pray for discipline and guidance to use our tongues, thumbs, and key pads for good, so that our king in heaven can delight in our servanthood.

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

Related Questions

  1. What is your favorite way to communicate with your friends?
  2. What words have you regretted recently?
  3. What are some good phrases for us to use to build up the people around us?

Recommended Prayer
Father in heaven, you have shown us the difference between wisdom and foolishness and between righteousness and evil. Help us to choose wisely and to live morally.

Suggested Prayer Concerns

Looking Ahead

Tomorrow's reading: Proverbs 15-17 (Independence Occurs When We Commit to the LORD)

Comments and Questions
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