Welcome back to Riddles of the Wise! I’m Casey, a new pastor at Red Rocks recently transported from Rockford, IL. Gotta say, the scenery out here is much more impressive than the cornfields I am used to seeing. J Shawn asked a few other pastors on staff if we wanted contribute to the daily devotionals for the next few days. Of course, we all said YES! And, I’m pumped to do today and tomorrow!
I’ve learned so much by studying Proverbs this month, and I hope you have too. Today, we are looking at Proverbs 18. This chapter is predominately focused on the power of our words. Often times, we aren’t intentional enough with our words and we end up in trouble because of it. Have you ever had a moment when said something, and you immediately regretted it? Yep, me too. Have you gotten in an argument with a friend, and because of what was said, things were just never the same? Yep, same here.
The writer of Proverbs is super clear in this chapter that our words can bring amazing life to others, or they can build seemingly insurmountable walls between people we love. There are a variety of verses that speak to the power of our tongue in this chapter:
“Fools’ words get them into constant quarrels…”
“The first to speak in court sounds right, until the cross examination begins…”
“An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city…”
“The tongue can bring death or life…”
“Wise words satisfy like a good meal…”
The one verse that stuck out to me the most was Proverbs 18:15 when it says, “Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge.”
I was drawn to this verse because it reminded me of the power of listening. Good listeners are often very wise, and keep themselves out of trouble. They think before they speak, they seek to understand before being understood, they empathize with the offended, they pay attention to nuance, and they genuinely learn about other people. There is a popular saying that goes like this, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” I believe this is incredibly true.
What would it look like for you to be a better listener today? Are you currently in an argument that would benefit from you taking a moment to listen to the other side? When was the last time you asked a friend how they were doing, and genuinely listened to see how you could help them?
Wise people are careful with their words. As we all do our best to follow Jesus and be a shining light to a watching world, let us be kind to one another. Listen to one another. Empathize with one another. And, realize that what we say has profound impact on every person we encounter.
Have a great day!