When to Zip It – Proverbs 17

I can’t seem to avoid reminders about holding my tongue. I hope it’s because I’m so good at it.

“Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam, so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out” (Proverbs 17:14 NIV).

used by permission Cads.stockxchng
used by permission Cads.stockxchng

Before a dispute breaks out? That means to resist saying that one-more-thing that might cause a serious crack in a relationship, and even bring a rush of unstoppable destruction.

“Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue” (verse 28).

This might be my favorite proverb of all time. I may behave foolishly, but I can appear wise if I’m careful with my words. I think being watchful of their effect is what helps me to be less destructive and more encouraging to others.

“A rebuke impresses a man of discernment more than a hundred lashes a fool” (verse 10).

Verse 10 speaks for itself, doesn’t it! I want to welcome the rebuke that helps me do better and I hope to be a woman of discernment. I’ve seen enough damage to motivate me to keep the dam in good repair.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

Chattering Teeth are Not Wise – Proverbs 10

It’s hard to choose which verses to highlight for January 10, but here are my picks. Two of them mention a chattering fool and invoke an image of the annoying gag toy with teeth that rattle when you wind it up.

“The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.” Proverbs 10:8 NIV.

“He who winks maliciously causes grief, and a chattering fool comes to ruin.” 10:10.

This one is on the same subject: “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. 10:19.

Tonight, as my daughter was cleaning the kitchen, my husband walked in and asked her about her day. She pulled her ear buds out and asked, “Are you talking to me? I heard your lips moving.” The laughter this caused was refreshing, since I’ve been sick and can’t remember the last time I laughed. She either has super powers or she knows a proverb I haven’t dug up yet.

This one is about something lips can do, however.

“The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment.” 10:21.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis