On Guarding Your Mouth and Gaining Wisdom

I am enjoying the 2015 Bible reading challenge so much! How did your Proverbs reading go this week? I found myself reading the chapter twice on many days as  I lingered over my morning coffee.  Let’s summarize chapters 10-15 this week. I read chapter 9 before posting on last Friday, so it was included in the summary “Because Wisdom is Calling Us.” When I look at the major focus of the chapters we read this week, I felt that this section seemed to be on guarding your mouth and gaining wisdom. It’s quite difficult to summarize the whole, but that was my takeaway. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

In the mean time, let’s take a peek at each chapter. Ready?

Chapter 10

I feel like we’ve truly arrived in Proverbs land; haven’t we? Each verse is so rich and all the way through chapter 10, verse after verse, we discover truth after truth. There is so much in every chapter, but the verse I tweeted out on the 10th was:

This verse arrived in perfect time for me. Love it when God does that!

Chapter 11

Several verses in Proverbs 11 mention guarding your mouth and using it properly. I meditated on the second half of verse 25:

and one who waters will himself be watered.

When we offer encouragement to others, we find ourselves encouraged! Isn’t that powerful?

If using words effectively is an issue for you, be sure to check out Karen Ehman’s latest book, Keep It Shut, up for giveaway in yesterday’s post.

Chapter 12

More words of wisdom are contained in chapter 12 and the ones that spoke to me the most loudly were those on controlling the tongue. Yesterday I shared with you one of those verses, but the other one that I thought about throughout the day of reading this chapter was Proverbs 12:25.

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad. Proverbs 12:25

proverbs1225

There is so much power in a good word! I’ve seen this principle come to life through my personal use of 20 Things to Say to Encourage Your Husband and 20 Things to Say To Encourage Your Children.

Chapter 13 

I can hardly believe that half of this month is over. In thinking about all the goals and planning that are known to be a part of the beginning of a new year, I found it interesting that two verses in this chapter sort of mimicked  one another.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. v. 12

A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but to turn away from evil is an abomination to fools. v. 19

Staying focused on how it is going to feel when we reach that goal, that dream, that plan… no matter what it is, can propel us forward to actually reaching that goal.

Chapter 14

This chapter is packed with wisdom and every verse offers incredible wisdom. The verse in this chapter that resonated with me was really only half of a verse.

In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty. v. 23

For some reason those words “mere talk” really stood out to me. We can talk about it all day long. No matter what “it” is. But until we put the work behind it, talk is cheap and will bring no worth.

Chapter 15

Chapter 15 contains many verses on controlling our mouths and obtaining wisdom. There are many nuggets of truth in this chapter and I found it interesting that physical body parts, specifically the ear, the heart, and the tongue, often provide the visual image for the meaning behind the truth. Solomon had a unique style of writing these pithy sayings and yet his overall intention in writing Proverbs is clear. I felt that the last verse of this chapter summed up the reading very well so far:

The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor. v. 33

Wow- we covered an enormous amount of material in a week! But I’d love to hear about your study. Take a moment and choose one or two of these questions to answer and share with the rest of us.

Did you feel a “theme” to the chapters you read, perhaps something that continually popped out at you during the reading?

How important do you think Solomon feels it is to use positive words in everyday life? Is there a particular person in your life with whom you find this most difficult? You don’t need to share who, but perhaps you could share why you have realized you have power in the words you choose.

Was there a particular verse that stood out to you in chapter 15?

Looking forward to learning from you all. Have a fabulous Friday!

Rachel

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19 Comments

  1. The verse that spoke to me and I have been trying to apply more often was 15:1- A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger (niv).

    My daughter tries my patience often with her anxiety, I wish I could get her to spend some time reading the Word so that she could benefit from the peace it brings my soul, but I don’t think she is ready to listen and apply. So I work on gentle answers to try and lead her in a more positive direction.

  2. Hi, Rachel! I am enjoying the 2015 Bible reading so much! It has been such an encouragement to me and such a builder for my daily spiritual walk!
    This is probably way to “out there”, but I have been battling with depression for several months and when I’m feeling down nothing seems to cheer me up. Do you have any good verses that might help when it gets really bad? I wish you had a section in your “verses when” that I could go to for this.
    Thanks!
    Love reading ALL your posts!!!

  3. The verse that stood out to me in Chap. 15 was:
    15:13 – A happy heart makes the face cheerful but heartache crushes the spirit.
    This verse also tied in with the theme and the second question regarding positive words and specific relationships.

    When you have a happy heart it is so much easier to put forth positive words. A crushed spirit shows and it manifests itself in all of your body language as well as the words you speak.

    It would seem to me that striving for gratitude everyday could bring forth a cheerful face as well as positive words.

  4. (1) Theme this week:

    • Have a discerning, kind, cheerful heart and your words will follow.
    • Live a disciplined life, live honestly, and work hard.
    • Fear the Lord.
    • Don’t be foolish with money, words, or actions, and don’t hang around fools.

    (2) How important do you think Solomon feels it is to use positive words in everyday life?

    Highly important as just these few verses show….
    • 11.9: “With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor”
    • 12.14: “From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good”
    • 12.19: “Truthful lips endure forever”
    • 15.4: “A gentle tongue is a tree of life”
    • 13.3: “Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life”

    (3) Was there a particular verse that stood out to you in chapter 15?

    Chapter 15.14: “The discerning heart seeks knowledge; but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.”
    This verse reminds me to seek God’s Word and His wisdom, put it to use, and live wisely—that includes carefully choosing my words at all times.

  5. I, too, think that the theme of this section is thinking before you speak and choosing your words carefully. This is something I always need help with. It is pretty much a part of my daily prayer – help me to listen more and speak less! In Chapter 15, the verse that stood out to me was Vs. 15 – ” A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season how good it is!” I do know if I could say all of my words give me joy or get spoken “in due season.” I think this whole section is also saying that if we are truly on a quest for wisdom, we must control our mouths.

  6. Chapter 13 – So much being said about listening to wise advice; Amazing how the world is no different today than when Solomon wrote this book. But doesn’t that make sense? God knew that there wouldn’t be any change without our coming to home. We are continually focused on our own needs. We just don’t learn.

    Solomon tells us all the things that will bring peace – but we instead want things easy, right away, now…

  7. Thanks Rachel that’s the one.

  8. I’m especially fond of ch. 16 v 3…dedicate everything to God and we will succeed. Essential to my daily life and something I work hard to teach my children. My daughter has had so many blessings given to her in her schooling and career and we regularly remind her from whom those blessings flow, to give thanks and to give back. God is good.

  9. Blessings everyone, my apologies for asking this on this platform. I recently received an email that had a link with regards to creating a vision board. Was it from Rachel? If so kindly send me the link if however no please assist me with information or link I can access information on how to create a vision board.
    Thank you

  10. Prov. 15:1 “A gentle answer will calm a person’s anger” (icb) has long been a verse the Lord has had to remind me of again and again. Once, I was so sure that the point I was making with a co-worker was right, and I told the Lord just that through tears-defending my stance for about 30 min. before I became quiet, long enough for Him to whisper this verse to my soul and cause me to realize that I HAD done wrong…my response, however right, had not been gentle.

    My other favorite v from this wk was 12:10, a good man takes care of his animals…to me this is a Biblical wisdom that society can’t deny…if someone is good to an animal they are typically good to people and if you find someone who will mistreat one of God’s helpless creatures, the reverse is generally true, as well.

    SO MANY great truths this wk!

  11. Every chapter comes alive to me – I’m reading it in versions I don’t always read and gaining new insight

  12. One theme was the fact that reproof is instruction. It’s not just placing blame. That is how we are to take these words about not being a talebearer and avoiding causing offense or revealing private information. Also, words and thoughts go together. We have peace and joy when things of worth and value come out.

    Solomon puts a lot of emphasis on words. I find it especially hard to find opportunities to use positive words with a child that needs a lot of direction and discipline. Proverbs 3:12 “because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” I think that is why we have all the seemingly negative passages about the wicked in the Bible.

    Also, I have a really positive, glass is half full, kind of husband. I tend to want to show him the other side of the coin on issues when I know I should follow his example more.

    In Chapter 15, verse 28 stood out, “The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.”

  13. Laura Bennin says:

    I really enjoyed reading this week’s lesson. Patience is not something that I was given, and I have to work on it daily. In reading Proverbs this week, I felt as if the Lord was speaking directly to me. The tongue is the most destructive muscle of the body, yet it is so small and powerful. The tongue can either be uplifting or bring disaster to someone. This week’s reading made me realize just how important it is that I watch what I say and think. That is something that I tell my students, but it’s easier said than done. It is important to build someone up, because it’s just too easy to tear someone down.

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