Proverbs chapters 10 – 24 contain what we commonly think of as “proverbs” – short couplets that cover a wide range of subjects. There are a lot of different things that we could focus on from chapter 11 and I really encourage you to spend some time reading this chapter slowly and taking the bits of wisdom to heart. Proverbs provides great opportunity for journaling as you take a verse that stuck out to you and write about how it applies to your life and how God may be speaking to you. Does it show an attitude or behavior that you need to change? Does it give a promise that you need to embrace?
Several of the Proverbs deal with our words so I was struck again by the wisdom in verse 9:
With their words, the godless destroy their friends, but knowledge will rescue the righteous.
Our words have the power to build or destroy and can affect people for a lifetime. The Life Application Study Bible has this to say about verse 9 in its notes: “Every person you meet today is either a demolition site or a construction opportunity.” Wow, powerful and true.
Words are often connected with emotion and although many times the exact words are not necessarily remembered, the feeling they conveyed is. I love this quote by Maya Angelou: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Again, powerful and true.
I have a habit of telling my husband and son that I love them when we go our separate ways either for work or for sleep. I tell my parents I love them when we part ways or finish a phone conversation. I find myself saying “I love you” often to my friends. I’ve developed this habit with intentionality because I want to make sure they know how I feel about them, but also because one day we will have our final conversation and what I want them to remember the most is that I loved them.
Words have power. I’m praying that God gives us all the wisdom to use them well.
Executive Director of Education and Outreach