This chapter contrasts the righteous person versus the wicked person. There are so many things that could be written about, and I started to pick and choose a few to write about. As I read the chapter a few times, I was struck by how many times the mouth, or what we say was mentioned.
6 Blessings are on the head of the righteous,
But the mouth of the wicked conceals violence
8 The wise of heart will receive commands,
But a babbling fool will be ruined.
11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
But the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
13 On the lips of the discerning, wisdom is found,
But a rod is for the back of him who lacks understanding.
14 Wise men store up knowledge,
But with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand.
18 He who conceals hatred has lying lips,
And he who spreads slander is a fool.
19 When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable,
But he who restrains his lips is wise.
20 The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver,
The heart of the wicked is worth little.
21 The lips of the righteous feed many,
But fools die for lack of understanding.
31 The mouth of the righteous flows with wisdom,
But the perverted tongue will be cut out.
32 The lips of the righteous bring forth what is acceptable,
But the mouth of the wicked what is perverted.
These are some of the verses, but maybe not all. We can often see a lot about ourselves (and others) by what is said or not said. Listen to what comes out of your mouth. Are you listening, or receiving commands, or are you babbling and therefore unable to hear the instruction? Are you choosing when to talk and when to refrain? Are you speaking righteousness? It is often hard to control what we say but doing this is a sign of wisdom and righteousness.
This topic is something that shows up several other places in proverbs, as well as other places in the Bible. I think of James 1:19.
This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;
We often speak without thinking or think about what we should say instead of listening to the other person. Then, what comes out of our mouth is either not appropriate or not helpful. We often don’t like silence, so we say something just to have noise, even if it is not useful.
I encourage you to pay attention to what you are saying, and when you are talking. Take time to listen. Take time to gain from what others are saying. Take time to allow silence to occur. Our words are a good indicator of whether we are seeing wisdom or being fools.