15
Oct
15

Too Many Words

In Proverbs 10, the proverbs actually begin.  Up until this point, Solomon’s teachings have been a call to accept wisdom and to pursue it rather than wealth or things.  There have been a few proverbs along the way, but this is where the “bumper stickers” really get going.  Notice the pattern of the majority of these proverbs.  There is a saying about the wise or righteous person and then a “but” and then what is true of a person who is wicked or foolish.  For example:

The man of integrity walks securely,
but he who takes crooked paths will be found out. (Proverbs 10:9, NIV)

What a great proverb!  The one who lives his or her life with integrity can walk and rest securely knowing that they have nothing to hide.  The one who tries to deceive others will be found out.  This is SO true!  As Christians, we need to live lives of integrity and character.  The world is watching us to see if we walk the walk and not just talk the talk.  Integrity is so important in showing Jesus to the world.
Now, the pattern is not without variation.  Look at this proverb:

When words are many, sin is not absent,
but he who holds his tongue is wise. (Proverbs 10:19, NIV)

Also, very true!  But it is a different pattern.  This time, the behavior of the foolish is first and then contrasted by the behavior of the wise.  I like this proverb!  It goes along with James’ teachings in his letter in the New Testament.  Read James 3:1-12.  James says that though the tongue is small, it is “a world of evil among the parts of the body” (James 3:6, NIV).  If we could learn to control our tongues, we would be “perfect” as James says in verse 2.  But when we run our mouths – gossip, slander and lies (oh my!) – sin is very present.  May the words of our mouths be pleasing in the sight of the Lord today (Psalm 19:14).
PRAYER: Help me, Lord, to be able to control my tongue today.  Help me when I am tempted to lie or to gossip.  Give me wisdom to know when to hold my tongue.  I need integrity with regard to the things I do.  Thank You for Your forgiveness when I fail. Amen.

 

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