Wise Words

Solomon considered both the negative and positive uses of the tongue:

The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable,
But the mouth of fools spouts folly. (Proverbs 15:2)

The lips of the wise spread knowledge,
But the hearts of fools are not so. (15:7)

Just as we found five destructive uses of the tongue, so we find five ways “the lips of the wise” can benefit others.

  1. Wise counsel and sound advice

The lips of the righteous bring forth what is acceptable. (10:32)

The lips of the wise spread knowledge. (15:7)

Without consultation, plans are frustrated,
But with many counselors they succeed. (15:22)

Prepare plans by consultation,
And make war by wise guidance. (20:18)

It would also be worth your time to read and meditate on Proverbs 25:19, 26, and 28. These three additional sayings point out the consequences of heeding unwise, unsound advice. We have all received both wise and unwise counsel. How can anyone adequately measure the great benefits of wise, insightful counsel? Usually, you’re at the end of your rope: you’ve exhausted every resource, tried every option, attempted every strategy, and then a sound bit of insight from a wise friend changes everything.

Obviously, someone out of fellowship with God can offer only a limited perspective. Some worldly wisdom can be beneficial, but only when it is subjected to the authority of divine truth. We must use great discernment when seeking counsel and be extremely cautious when advice comes from someone who rejects a biblical worldview. You may be surprised to discover that age and life experience don’t necessarily translate into wisdom. Job noted, “The abundant in years may not be wise, nor may elders understand justice” (Job 32:9).

From Living the Proverbs by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired., an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

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