10/14/2010

Are your Words Thoughtful, Timely, and True? (Proverbs 15:1-4)

Prov. 15:1-4 "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger" (1). Words are gifts of God, given only to man in all of creation. Words used wisely are thoughtful, timely, and true. We should speak the right thing (true) in the right way (thoughtful) at the right time (timely). But if we don't, we invite wrath (1), express our stupidity (2), discourage others (4), even promote evil (28), especially through gossip (Prov. 16:28; 18:8) and slander. When we acknowledge his divine omniscience and guard our heart in the fear of God, God will give us wisdom to use our words to honor God and bless people.

Prov. 15:3 "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good." That God sees and knows everything about everything and everyone is called divine omniscience. To a believer, it is most encouraging that God sees and knows me. When I am hurt and wounded, there is no greater comfort in all the world than to know that God sees and knows my frail, fragile, wounded heart. But to an unbeliever it is upsetting, dreadful and infuriating that God knows all the goings on in their heart, and that they can never hide from God.

Prov. 15:22 "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed" (NIV). Proverbs repeatedly encourages us to take advice (Prov. 13:10), listen to advice (Prov. 12:15), and to have many advisors (Prov. 11:14). If we just humble ourselves and learn to listen, we'd be a whole lot wiser. But we fail to listen, and so remain unwise (Prov. 21), when we find it too humbling to listen to advice.