Friday, July 17, 2009

Proverbs 16: 16-24

16How much better it is to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.
17The highway of the upright is to depart from evil;
He who watches his way preserves his life.
18Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling.
19It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly
Than to divide the spoil with the proud.
20He who gives attention to the word will find good,
And blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.
21The wise in heart will be called understanding,
And sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.
22Understanding is a fountain of life to one who has it,
But the discipline of fools is folly.
23The heart of the wise instructs his mouth
And adds persuasiveness to his lips.
24Pleasant words are a honeycomb,
Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Today's Thought Question:
  1. What proverb in today's passage spoke to you and why?

Golly, am I going with another triple play today??

"The wise in heart will be called understanding, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness."
"The heart of the wise instructs his mouth and adds persuasiveness to his lips."
"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." (vs 21, 23 & 24)

Sweet persuasion! For me, elusive most of the time. The times I would have loved to have persuaded people. And I tried! Not that I'm not pleasant, but.... ?

Boiling this down, Solomon says when we are wise of heart, this wisdom overflows to our mouths and the words we end up speaking. As the wisdom comes, the words that we use are more and more wise, reaching others with a "sweetness" that persuades. It's a logical process. An "of course!"'s a process!!

The King James translation uses 'prudent' rather than 'understanding' in verse 21. Recalling an earlier post, prudence refers to having foresight or forethought, a providential look. When we are wise, we are thinking ahead. How many times I have wanted to have a re-do or a re-working! If I had used all the wisdom, thinking through what would happen as a result of what I offered, instead of just putting all my thoughts into the thoughts themselves. (Remember what we said yesterday about rolling our ideas upon the Lord!)

"The wise in heart are called prudent, understanding, and knowing, and winsome speech increases learning [in both speaker and listener]." (vs 23, AMP)

Winsome means charming, winning, engaging, and, at its root, joy! Again, thinking back upon my less persuasive moments, I'm not sure my speech was filled with an engaging joy. Persuasiveness, to me, was about expressing my point of view with facts to support, trying to hit upon points that the listener wanted to hear. Where is the engagement in that? What comes to me now so clearly is that word engage, which implies relationship, a connectedness! Most often, my failures in persuasion came because my relationship with those whom I was trying to reach was flawed. Hindsight, again, is now wisdom gained.

"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."
(vs 24)

So, back to the pleasant words. The Hebrew word for pleasant is described is "agreeableness, delight, suitableness, splendor or grace." [Strong's] What a marvelous and deep series of words! Our wisdom brings from our hearts to our lips words with which others are comfortable, if not made to delight in. Words appropriate for the occasion. Words that express light in the One for whom we glory! Grace extended.

Words, a honeycomb--so sweet that they stick. That's persuasiveness, my friends!! Words not only pleasant to hear at one's very core, but words that reach and touch, providing deliverance [Strong's].

Oh, to know such words...such a heart.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom...." (9:10)


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Tomorrow's Scripture Focus and Thought Question:

Proverbs 16: 25-33
  1. What proverb in today's passage spoke to you and why?

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Note: I read from the New American Standard Bible translation, specifically, The MacArthur Study Bible (NASB). I will quote other sources if used in a post.
I also use Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (with notes from the King James Version).

1 comment:

KelliGirl said...

"Oh, to know such words...such a heart."

Amen to that! I see two things shouting loud and clear in these verses: humility and gentleness.

I can most definitely use more of both. Lord, more of you and less of me!

Keep on writing, you're doing a GREAT job here! Maybe next time you'll pick a shorter book. (ha ha).

Have a happy Friday and a great weekend.