S215P5 – Warnings against foolishness: well-chosen words

Pro. 15:1-2

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.  The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.

The scriptures tell us quite a bit of how we are to speak.  These instructions guide us on how to address authority figures with respect or how to comfort those in pain.  By-and-large, words are how we communicate with others, and that is how Jesus primarily communicated when He was here.  His words are what the Holy Spirit reminds us of continually.   Language is so important because it is what we use to teach and influence.  There is so much power in the words we use.  That is one reason why the bible tells us in many different ways that we should be deliberate with our speech.  What we say matters spiritually, and our speech is one way people should know that we are his.

Wisdom handles knowledge correctly in speech, but it also understands which words to use to bring a godly result.  The first verse above illustrates that.  When faced with anger, the spiritually wise person will aim to diffuse it.  That person wants to smooth things over and fix whatever the problem is.  The fool will fuel the fire either intentionally or in ignorance.  That person will speak out of reaction instead of a measured response.  The same way we can tell by another’s words whether that person is spiritually wise, others can tell the same about us by our words.  This is not just about interpreting the words others speak to us but is about making sure we speak wisely.  After all, we should be sharing wisdom and not foolishness.

Some people will say that they can tell more about a person by his or her actions than by words.  While it is true that a person might speak one way and act another, we often will know only what someone tells us.  Especially when we are becoming acquainted with a new person, often their words are our measuring rod.  We must be discerning about what we accept and retain when others speak to us.  We also must be discerning about the words we speak because a few words might be all we get to share with someone, and we want that to count.  Father, help us to be wise with our words so that we can give an acceptable testimony of Christ and draw others to You when we speak.