How Will You Use Your Words? (Proverbs 18)

Pro 18:2, 4, 6-8, 23-24 NKJV A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart. … (4) The words of a man’s mouth [are] deep waters; The wellspring of wisdom [is] a flowing brook. … (6) A fool’s lips enter into contention, And his mouth calls for blows. (7) A fool’s mouth [is] his destruction, And his lips [are] the snare of his soul. (8) The words of a talebearer [are] like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost body. … (23) The poor [man] uses entreaties, But the rich answers roughly. (24) A man [who has] friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend [who] sticks closer than a brother.

Dear Daughter, most people just want to be heard. I’ve listened to thousands of people over the years and most are experts at getting to the topic that is most on their heart at that moment. Sometimes it’s about how proud they are as parents. Some times its about heartache and loss. Sometimes its a story about what they just experienced. Sometimes it’s a lie they want you to believe. Most of the time they just want you to hear them.

But we are people too and too often we are striving so hard to be heard that we don’t listen well. Someone once said, “you have two ears and one mouth, use them in proportion.” Not bad advice if you really want to make friends and influence people. Indeed you will make more friends by being a good active listener than by just trying to say what’s on your mind.

We all need to share what is on our minds sometimes but a fool is one who wants to speak their mind without hearing from others. More than making you a good friend, listening will give you insight into others. It will allow you to help people. But even here you need to be careful about who you listen to and the sort of things they say. You don’t need to listen to gossip. You don’t need to listen to liars. You don’t need to listen to scoffers.

The question before you is how will you use your words? I pray that you will be one who knows when to speak and when to be silent. I pray that you listen and prove yourself to be a good friend to those who need one and that others would be a good friend to you. I pray that you will know when to walk away from a conversation and when to stick around and learn something.

Father, Thank you for the gift of being a dad. I pray for my children to know you and walk with you in integrity. I pray that they will know the value of their words. I pray that they will speak and offer validation and affirmation when it is needed. I pray that they will listen well to their friends and that their friends will listen to them. I pray that you guard them from listening to lies, gossip, or even just idle scoffing. Let their words be a refreshment to those around them and always point others to your graciousness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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