Proverbs 16:19-24 Words

Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed
    than to share plunder with the proud.

20 Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers,[a](AE)
    and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.(AF)

21 The wise in heart are called discerning,
    and gracious words promote instruction.[b](AG)

22 Prudence is a fountain of life to the prudent,(AH)
    but folly brings punishment to fools.

23 The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent,(AI)
    and their lips promote instruction.[c](AJ)

24 Gracious words are a honeycomb,(AK)
    sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Words

If one is to acquire wisdom one must engage with words.  Words carry the meaning imagined in the mind.  Ideas.  Ideas are powerful and they change the world.  They are often misunderstood, and all too often misused.  However, a great idea in the mouth of a powerful communicator can change the world.  The converse is also true.  Hitler worked with words, images and power.  He mastered the delivery of words to crush the will of his ‘feeble’ opponents.  Gandhi motivated millions with a few well chosen, quotable words.  His life was an exercise in reflective, meditative communication. 

What are we hearing?  Many times it is shallow chatter which reinforces a sad idea that the material world is all.  We are ‘superflat’ as the Japanese might say.  We have our aural senses overloaded with colour, contrast and consumerism.  If we stop for a while and wait for a whisper, it will come to us.  A still small voice beckons us to the transcendent, beyond the imminent, and we can live through listening.  Sssh.

Questions

  1. What kind of words are helpful?
  2. Why are some words more helpful than others?
  3. What is the source of worthwhile words?
  4. What kinds of words are we overloaded  with?
  5. How can one focus one’s intake of words today to hear the few that are truly helpful?  (Do it)
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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