A human being lives, but he is given life.
New King James Version (NKJV)
1 As snow in summer and rain in harvest,
So honor is not fitting for a fool.
2 Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow,
So a curse without cause shall not alight.
3 A whip for the horse,
A bridle for the donkey,
And a rod for the fool’s back.
4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest you also be like him.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest he be wise in his own eyes.
6 He who sends a message by the hand of a fool
Cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.
7 Like the legs of the lame that hang limp
Is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
8 Like one who binds a stone in a sling
Is he who gives honor to a fool.
9 Like a thorn that goes into the hand of a drunkard
Is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
10 The great God who formed everything
Gives the fool his hire and the transgressor his wages.
11 As a dog returns to his own vomit,
So a fool repeats his folly.
12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
13 The lazy man says, “There is a lion in the road!
A fierce lion is in the streets!”
14 As a door turns on its hinges,
So does the lazy man on his bed.
15 The lazy man buries his hand in the bowl;
It wearies him to bring it back to his mouth.
16 The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes
Than seven men who can answer sensibly.
17 He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own
Is like one who takes a dog by the ears.
18 Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death,
19 Is the man who deceives his neighbor,
And says, “I was only joking!”
20 Where there is no wood, the fire goes out;
And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases.
21 As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire,
So is a contentious man to kindle strife.
22 The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles,
And they go down into the inmost body.
23 Fervent lips with a wicked heart
Are like earthenware covered with silver dross.
24 He who hates, disguises it with his lips,
And lays up deceit within himself;
25 When he speaks kindly, do not believe him,
For there are seven abominations in his heart;
26 Though his hatred is covered by deceit,
His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.
27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
And he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him.
28 A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it,
And a flattering mouth works ruin.
Thought of the
“Destroy gossip by ignoring”
When a fire finishes burning through the material it feeds on, it goes out. Similarly, when gossip reaches the ear of someone who will not repeat it, it dies.
Gossip, like other sins, is like “tasty trifles” (Proverbs 26:22). We like to hear it and share it with others because it “tastes” good. Gossip is rooted in our need to feel good about ourselves. As we bring others down, we gain the illusion that we are moving upward.
That’s why spreading gossip is so difficult to resist. It takes prayer and God’s grace to bring us to the point where we refuse to pass it on or even hear it—even under the guise of personal concern or a request to pray for a sinning friend in trouble.
We must ask God for the wisdom to know when to speak, what to speak, and when to simply keep our mouths shut. For “in the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19).
It is often wise to be quiet and speak few words. But if we must speak, let’s talk of those things that encourage and move others closer to God, not those things that will discourage and hurt them. “The tongue of the wise promotes health” (Proverbs 12:18). —David H. Roper (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
The tongue can spread suspicion,
And reputations steal;
But when the Lord controls our tongue,
Its words will soothe and heal. —Sper
Personal Reflection and Discussion
Bobby, you really like to make me work. You are so good about picking verses that my different study guides don’t cover. That’s good though, makes me learn more, for I am simple and need to lern more. Verses 18 and 19, sound very dramatic and very sadistic. So much violence in 18 but verse 19 speaks like it is talking about words. Words are very dangerous. and to me these two vers are taling about backstabbing, gossiping, innuendos and maliciousness toward your neighborsm friends, family and strangers on the street. So many people hide things they say by saying Oh it was just a joke, can’t you take a joke. I catch a lot of “jokes” and “off color remarks” but I know that these comments are not made to be ugly. Only a few times did I get my feelings hurt and ususally it was from someone I did not know well. I personally like a good practical joke and I enjoy people who can take it when I dish it back(which is not to often). There is love behind it from my friends and family. One can tell when it is not meant to be funny but mean. Malice is not easy to disguise. We should always remember to treat others with courtesy and respect and never be hateful,ugly and just plain mean with our words.
I think you are right about how we should treat others but it does not always happen that way. Too many times we see our short comings in others and persecute them for our failures.
What stood out to me were vrs 1- (I think) 12. It seems to be teaching everything in it’s right season and in the right way. Something good and wise could be twisted by the fool and hurt instead. God gives us discernment; not just in having insight into what we can’t see, but also into when and how we should do or say something. Sometimes I wonder if I talk to much, and wonder if that makes me a fool. I am sure I played the fool more than once. But I don’t want to. God help me to have discernment. I like whispering a prayer when talking to people to make sure I don’t misrepresent and do damage. I don’t always know how my words impact; but I know that if I include God, even if I played the fool God could fix it. I try to stay in constant communion with God for that very reason. It’s so easy to sin, all we have to do is follow our natural human instinct. With some people it feels like we’re walking on egg-shells, but even there God could guide the situation. Being open and trusting God makes a world of a difference.
The guest pastor at Lubbock was sharing a story. He pulled up to a house he was admiring. Eventually the owner asked him what he was doing? He told the man he was like the house and whated to know if it was for sale. The man said the neighborhood didn’t need any foreigners. He said he normally would of walked away but instead, he answered him somewhere along the lines that they were friends. He admitted that he didn’t even understand why he said that or where he was going with it. The man asked him what and he went on to tell him that even rednecks need friends and that God’s red blood shed to make everyone friends. Long story short that weird conversation turned into 3 hours of talking and the man actually weeping asking the guy all sort of questions about God. The guy needed to go and teach his theology class on witnessing and he couldn’t be late. Ironically the man was now begging that foreigner to stay longer. At the end the man give is heart to the Lord and was truely grateful to have a foreigner teach that redneck about the Love of God. Key is Christ as our guide, submission to His will, even when we don’t understand, and faith that God would work all things out to His glory. How could we know the right time and way of handling any situation unless we trust God to fix it if worst case senerio we mess up.
God puts in the right place at the right time, and when we let him lead us we always were we need to be.
Just reminded of that verse (couldn’t find it right now) that Pastor David likes to quote: God uses the foolish things of this world to put to shame the wise. They know all that wisdom and truth can’t come from that person but has to come from a higher source working through him. Gives more glory to God. We must decrease and He increase. Are we okay with being regarded as fools by the world in order to give more glory to God?!