“The words of the godly encourage many…” Proverbs 10:21
“The words of the godly are like sterling silver.” Proverbs 10:20
“The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain.” Proverbs 10:11
The mouth of the godly person gives wise advice. Proverbs 10:31
The lips of the godly speak helpful words.” Proverbs 10:32
“Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding.” Proverbs 10:13
Proverbs 10 has a lot to say about our words and our speech. It gives many examples of what happens to the lips of fools (they hide violence, fall on their face, are perverse) but what beautiful words about the speech of the godly. They give encouragement to many, give life, wise advice, help others and their words are like silver. I want this kind of speech! I want my words to be wise, to encourage others, to give life and to be helpful. Often, I just remain silent. Though I may not be sinning with my words, I am choosing to withhold encouragement, help and wisdom. There are times to be silent but there are many times a few well-chosen words would be like a life-giving fountain. Also, when I choose to be critical, to complain, to gossip or to be negative, I am choosing to be like a fool. “Slandering others makes you a fool.” v. 18 (NLT) Spewing complaints and criticism does not help others, it does not give life, it is not helpful. Perhaps that is why v. 19 says, “Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.” I think if the temptation is to gossip and complain, holding our tongue is wise. But taking every opportunity to encourage is a good thing.
Father, thank you for giving me the ability to speak, to communicate. Thank you that I have the freedom and ability to choose my words. Help me choose words that give life. Please Lord, help me today to use my words to encourage others, to give help and to give life. Help my words to be like silver. Help me to build up and not destroy. Please help me remember this also applies to words I speak to myself.