Speak Wise and Appropriate Words
31) The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be cut out. 32) The lips of the righteous know what is fitting, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.
Wisdom has many sides. It’s not just what we say that shows forth wisdom, it’s how we say it, when we say it, where we say it, and to whom we say it. In Ephesians 4:15, Paul tells us to “speak the truth in love.” Our words should well up from a heart that knows God and seeks to please Him.
The wicked person will only speak that which is self-serving and perverse, as he seeks to elevate himself at the expense of his neighbor (Romans 3:11-14). He will use innuendo and gratuitous flattery to serve his own purposes. The Bible teaches that the non-Christian cannot help but sin in all he does, and bears only corrupt fruit (Matthew 7:17).
But the righteous person speaks with gentleness and mercy. He speaks at the fitting time, and doesn’t blurt out in public those things that are best said in private. The righteous man seeks out the proper person to whom to speak, and doesn’t spread gossip. He doesn’t slander others or belittle them to attempt to show himself in a better light. His words transmit at all times the sweetness and grace of his Savior.
Daniel. What wise and fitting words poured from Daniel’s lips. In these verses, he told Nebuchadnezzar his own dream, then interpreted its meaning to that king of Babylon. His words were fearless, yet full of tact and grace (Daniel 4:4-27).
Nebuchadnezzar. But the foolishness and wickedness of Daniel’s listener soon was apparent as he did not repent before the Living and True God. God took his kingdom and sent Nebuchadnezzar out like a wild beast (Daniel 4:28-33).
Prayer of Application
Lord God, help me to speak only appropriate and fitting words, so that the sweetness and grace of Christ may be reflected in me and that He might be glorified in all that I say.
Copyright 2015 – Robert C. Beasley