When beginning this study on the power of words, I was astounded by the numerous Bible passages addressing words and our communication. While taking notes, I wrote over 40 verses, read others and then put them into the categories that became this multi-part devotional. Today we will look at the category I call contrasts.
Gentle Answer/Harsh Word
“A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge attractive, but the mouth of fools blurts out foolishness” (Proverbs 15:1-2, CSB).
“The tongue that heals is a tree of life, but a devious tongue breaks the spirit” (Proverbs 15:4, CSB).
“The lips of the wise broadcast knowledge, but not so the heart of fools” (Proverbs 15:7, CSB).
Righteous Caution/Wicked Impulsiveness
“The mind of the righteous person thinks before answering, but the mouth of the wicked blurts out evil things” (Proverbs 15:28, CSB).
“Words from the mouth of a wise person are gracious, while the lips of a fool consume him; the beginning of his talking is foolishness, and the end of it is evil insanity” (Ecclesiastes 10:12-13, NASB).
The author, King Solomon, uses contrasting imagery to accentuate the truth he is presenting in these verses. I added the bold headings to further draw attention to the polarity of the two ways in which we can use our words.
Jesus used this teaching method of opposites when He spoke about the way to Heaven, in Matthew chapter 7. He said there is a wide and narrow gate and a broad and narrow road. Do your words reflect being on the road you desire? The Bible states, the heart is full of what comes from our mouth.
For Further Study
Read all of Proverbs chapter 15. What other warnings or instructions do you find, regarding how to communicate? Soak it in then go, bless someone with your words today.
Father God, thank You for Solomon’s recorded words of wisdom. Cause my heart to be receptive as I take in his teachings. Put in me a right fear of you, O Lord, so that my words will be gentle, gracious, healing, and full of knowledge. May Your name be glorified forever and ever. Amen.
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