Saturday, October 1, 2016

Proverbs About the Wise Use of Speech

There are so many disturbing words coming out of politicians, managers, reporters, social media… during this 2016 US Election season. It seems appropriate to turn to the Bible for some guidance on more carefully watching what we say in public. Apparently, many may need some wise biblical advice on this topic. So here goes from the Book of Proverbs:

  • 4:24   Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
  • 8:7     My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness.
  • 10:11  The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.
  • 10:19  When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.
  • 10:21  The lips of the righteous nourish many
  • 10:31-32  The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be cut out.
  • The lips of the righteous know what is fitting, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.
  • 11:12  A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue.
  • 12:18  Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
  • 13:3    He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.
  • 15:1    A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
  • 15:2   The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.
  • 15:28  The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.
  • 16:10  The lips of a king speak as an oracle, and his mouth should not betray justice.
  • 16:13  Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value a man who speaks the truth.
  • 17:20  A man of perverse heart does not prosper; he whose tongue is deceitful falls into trouble.
  • 17:29  Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.
  • 18:13  He who answers before listening-- that is his folly and his shame.
  • 18:23  A poor man pleads for mercy, but a rich man answers harshly.
  • 20:15  Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.
  • 21:6   A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.
  • 23:9   Do not speak to a fool, for he will scorn the wisdom of your words.
  • 23:16  My inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right.
  • 24:26  An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.
  • 26:28   A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.
  • 29:20  Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
  • 31:8-9  "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.
  • Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy

What other wisdom do you want to share about improving our speech and use of words?

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