You know, I really get the feeling the God knows people have a big problem with their mouths! (no really?). I just have to think of all the trouble I get into with my mouth. God's word is full of scriptures about what and how we say things and their consequences. So, here we go.....
Vs 1: A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.
I get this wrong all the time. When someone wrongly gets in my face I defend vigorously. I should be calm, with a soft answer and it takes the wind out of the other person's anger. Its to remember this BEFORE I open my mouth!
Vs 2: The tongue of the wise utters knowledge rightly, but the mouth of the self-confident fool pours out folly.
When we say anything, ideally it should be something of value, up-lifting, building, positive.
Vs 4: A gentle tongue (with its healing power) is a tree of life, but willful contrariness in it breaks down the spirit.
This is so true. There have been times in my life where someone has said something just right at the right time and just the right tone of voice, and its made an impact on me. One of those 'aha' moments. Like refreshing water running over your soul causing healing. And then there have been those 'words' that do the opposite - break down, crush, hurt - (Sadly, its often these words we remember).
Vs 18: A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger appeases contention.
Again with the words and their consequences. I'm starting to feel like my best course of action is to never open my mouth again! Or better still - think before I speak!
Vs 23: A man has joy in making an apt answer, and a word spoken at the right moment - how good it is!
Ever said the right thing at the right time? It feels good doesn't it! I could do with more moments like that.
Vs 28: The mind of the righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
Well there you have it - STUDY HOW to answer. We who talk before we think (I am one of those) would do well to absorb this verse. I want to be known for pouring out words of encouragement, healing, joy, upliftment. Rather than for pouring out words of evil, poison, lies, or hatred!
This has been a very 'wordy' chapter of Proverbs. Lots to absorb. My encouragement to you is to remember those life giving words spoken to you in season and ask God to give you opportunities to speak life into someone else's life.