Proverbs and Sayings

Do you listen to your father’s instruction?

A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke. (Proverbs 13:1).

It seemed like his father was always picking on him about something. “Do this.” “Do that.” There was never a time when he left him alone. Sometimes the boy thought it would have been better if he did not have a father. He could not get away with anything, and if he was caught doing something he was not supposed to, his old man was on his back in a flash. It was not fair.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6)

But when the boy grew up and had a family of his own, he realized that his father had kept after him to teach him how to live properly. He wished there were some way to thank his father; but he decided the best way was to be a good father to his own kids.

Often we scorn instruction and rebuke because it isn’t what we want to hear. But there comes a time when we are glad that we had instruction. The words come echoing back to us, and we begin at long last, to understand why they were offered. Too often we reject the words without actually paying attention to them. We need to listen to instruction no matter how much we do not want to hear it. It takes maturity to realize that others may know what is best for us.

Proverbs 4:20-27

My children, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
22 For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth,
And put perverse lips far from you.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead,
And your eyelids look right before you.
26 Ponder the path of your feet,
And let all your ways be established.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
Remove your foot from evil.

Words Have Consequences: Life Or Death

Have you ever observed a friend or relative who is all talk and no action? There are some folks who spend more time bragging about what they are going to do than actually doing it. They typically never get anywhere. “For a dream comes through much activity, and a fool’s voice is known by his many words” (Ecclesiastes 5;3). Dreams do not come true when more time is spent talking about them than praying and working toward achieving them.

Have you been around a person who is angry, crass or ungodly in his or her speech? Their bad language gives listeners a sick and uncomfortable feeling and they don’t want to be around such a person. “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31). The good things of life seem to overlook those who have nothing good coming from their mouths.

Have you known any one who complains all the time? No matter what is happening, this person finds something to grumble about. “Do all things without murmuring and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crocked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as light in the world” (Philippians 2:15, 15). Negative words bring negative results and thing seldom turn out right for a person who continually uses them.

Are you acquainted with anyone who is quick to speak yet do not seriously consider what he or she is saying? Blurts words without weighing the effect of them. “The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil” (Proverbs 15:28). Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Proverbs 29:20) Much grief is in the future of anyone who does not consider the consequences of his or her spoken words.

Have you seen anyone speak discouragement and pain into someone, a spouse, a child, a friend, a coworker? “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21). That person will bring destruction into their own life because of it.

Our words can justify us or condemn us (Matthew 12:37). They can bring us joy. (Proverbs 15:23), or corrupt and dishonor (Matthew 15 :11). What we say can either build up or break down the soul of whomever we are speaking to (Proverbs 15:4). The consequences of what we speak are so great that our words can leads us to ruin or save our lives (Proverbs 13:13)

Everyone has a choice about what he or she says, and there are rewards for making the right one. “Whoever guard his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles” (Proverbs 21:23). “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34).