For Reading and Meditation:     Proverbs 10:9-17

We look now at the fifth pillar of wisdom - watchfulness with words. Anyone who does not understand the importance of words and the impact they can produce for good or bad is not a wise person. The book of Proverbs has a good deal to say about the power of words: this is without doubt one of its major themes. Today's text implies that there is a transfer of wisdom from one person to another when wise words are used but that unwise words have the opposite effect. Emotional scars can be left by bitter words. How many adults still struggle from bitter words spoken to them when they were children - words like: "I wish you had never been born!"? Many a man and woman have told me that a statement like "I'm sorry I ever married you" carries as much force as a physical blow. Words have the potential for destroying or building up, hurting or healing, blessing or blistering, bringing comfort or consternation. Many oriental religions believe that ultimate reality is silence. Lao-tse, the famous Chinese philosopher, said: "The word that can be uttered is not the divine word; that word is Silence." I believe that ultimate reality is relationship - relationship with a God who speaks. God broke the silence of eternity with the words: "Let there be light." Lao-tse had to say that ultimate reality was silence for he knew nothing of a God who speaks. With words God created a world. We do the same. Our words create a world of order or disorder, of cosmos or chaos. Be wise - watch your words.

Father, I see that when You spoke, You created a world and that when I speak, I do the same. Give me the wisdom to use words in a way that will build up and not pull down; construct, not destruct. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Questions to Consider
  • What is our conversation to be full of?
  • What was Paul's admonition to Titus?