June 17, 1984
Reckless words pierce like a sword and can quickly spread like a scorching fire. Many times, we may speak without thinking, even to others’ great harm. Yet Jesus still tells us that “men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.” Where can we find hope? Alistair Begg looks to God’s Word for insight to help us think before we speak.
1A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
2The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
3The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
keeping watch on the evil and the good.
4A gentle1 tongue is a tree of life,
but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
5A fool despises his father's instruction,
but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.
6In the house of the righteous there is much treasure,
but trouble befalls the income of the wicked.
7The lips of the wise spread knowledge;
not so the hearts of fools.2
8The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him.
9The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
but he loves him who pursues righteousness.
10There is severe discipline for him who forsakes the way;
whoever hates reproof will die.
11Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord;
how much more the hearts of the children of man!
12A scoffer does not like to be reproved;
he will not go to the wise.
13A glad heart makes a cheerful face,
but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.
14The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge,
but the mouths of fools feed on folly.
15All the days of the afflicted are evil,
but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast.
16Better is a little with the fear of the Lord
than great treasure and trouble with it.
17Better is a dinner of herbs where love is
than a fattened ox and hatred with it.
18A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
19The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns,
but the path of the upright is a level highway.
20A wise son makes a glad father,
but a foolish man despises his mother.
21Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense,
but a man of understanding walks straight ahead.
22Without counsel plans fail,
but with many advisers they succeed.
23To make an apt answer is a joy to a man,
and a word in season, how good it is!
24The path of life leads upward for the prudent,
that he may turn away from Sheol beneath.
25The Lord tears down the house of the proud
but maintains the widow's boundaries.
26The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord,
but gracious words are pure.
27Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household,
but he who hates bribes will live.
28The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,
but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
29The Lord is far from the wicked,
but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
30The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
and good news refreshes3 the bones.
31The ear that listens to life-giving reproof
will dwell among the wise.
32Whoever ignores instruction despises himself,
but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.
33The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom,
and humility comes before honor.
Copyright © 2023, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.