Proverbs 17:18-28 Restraint

One who has no sense shakes hands in pledge
    and puts up security for a neighbor.

19 Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin;
    whoever builds a high gate invites destruction.

20 One whose heart is corrupt does not prosper;
    one whose tongue is perverse falls into trouble.

21 To have a fool for a child brings grief;
    there is no joy for the parent of a godless fool.

22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,
    but a crushedspirit dries up the bones.

23 The wicked accept bribes in secret
    to pervert the course of justice.

24 A discerning person keeps wisdom in view,
    but a fool’s eyeswander to the ends of the earth.

25 A foolish son brings grief to his father
    and bitterness to the mother who bore him.

26 If imposing a fine on the innocent is not good,
    surely to flog honest officials is not right.

27 The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint,
    and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.

28 Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent,
    and discerning if they hold their tongues


Last night I was glad that my children did not come to my soccer game.  During the game the players were yelling obsceneties at each other.  One player, who has headbutted members of our team before, headbutted someone while the ref wasn’t looking.  Another player from the other team shouted obsceneties about one of our player’s mother.  The game ended when one of our players broke free in injury time and scored a fantastic winner.

That’s when one of The Assyrian Stars (the opposing team) came over to our bench and kicked our best player between the legs.  He responded with a headshot that caused the Assyrian’s mouth to bleed.  In no time seven Assyrians had surrounded our player and were kicking him on the ground.  One even jumped on him and bit him hard on the back.  The police arrived and the instigator was separated from our players and the Assyrian Stars and our team stopped brawling.

I looked at the instigator, blood dripping from his mouth.  I looked at the man next to him cussing the police with no respect.  He had a cross around his neck.  However, he lacked the understanding that comes from God.  He had shown no restraint.  I was deeply grieved when I saw his cross and knew it meant nothing to him.


  1. What do the wicked pervert?
  2. How does a wise person use words?
  3. Why is it better to hold your tongue in intense situations rather than vent?
  4. Why do sporting situations frequently lead to intense language and sometimes brawls?
  5. What could be done to develop good sportspeople whose language is pure?

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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1 Response to Proverbs 17:18-28 Restraint

  1. Carrie says:

    1. The wicked pervert the course of justice.
    2. A wise person uses words with restraint.
    3. It is better to hold your tongue in an intense situation because it shows discernment and wisdom.
    4. Sporting events can lead to intense language because when the blood and adrenaline are flowing it tends to cause quick, emotional responses without wisdom and discernment.
    5. Good sportsmanship from those with pure language can be examples through restraint and not feeding into others negativity. By encouraging others and having a cheerful heart.

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