The wise of heart are called perceptive, and pleasant speech increases persuasiveness. Wisdom is a fountain of life to one who has it, but folly is the punishment of fools. The minds of the wise make their speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to their lips. Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. Sometimes there is a way that seems to be right, but in the end it is the way to death. The appetite of workers works for them; their hunger urges them on. Scoundrels concoct evil, and their speech is like a scorching fire. A perverse person spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends. The violent entice their neighbors and lead them in a way that is not good. One who winks the eyes plans perverse things; one who compresses the lips brings evil to pass. Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life. One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and one whose temper is controlled than one who captures a city. The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is the Lord’s alone.
Food for Thought:
My favorite line in this passage is pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. What has been your experience with pleasant words versus hurtful words? Remember as a child learning the old adage, sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me. We all know that this isn’t true. Once hurtful words are spewed from our mouth, we know how much harm they can cause.
Gracious God, guide us as we speak so that our words may be pleasing in your sight. Help us to discern the words you would have us say and the words that need not be said at all. Help us to bring words of hope and healing to those who need it and let the words of our mouths be acceptable in your sight. In your name we pray, Amen.