Proverbs 15


15     A gentle answer turns away wrath,

but a harsh word stirs up anger.

I encourage everyone to memorize and apply verse 1.  You can use it all day, every day with great success.  I don’t follow it all the time but when I do it works so well.

2 The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,

but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.

3 The eyes of the Lord are everywhere,

keeping watch on the wicked and the good.

4 The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life,

but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.

Many of these verses emphasize the incredible power of the tongue.  This section reminds of James 3 where James powerfully explains how dangerous the tongue can be.

5 A fool spurns his father’s discipline,

but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.

6 The house of the righteous contains great treasure,

but the income of the wicked brings them trouble.

7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge;

not so the hearts of fools.

8 The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked,

but the prayer of the upright pleases him.

9 The Lord detests the way of the wicked

but he loves those who pursue righteousness.

10 Stern discipline awaits him who leaves the path;

he who hates correction will die.

11 Death and Destruction lie open before the Lord

how much more the hearts of men!

12 A mocker resents correction;

he will not consult the wise.

The section on correction seems obvious at first, but my pride often gets in the way of wanting to accept correction. 

13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful,

but heartache crushes the spirit.

14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge,

but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.

15 All the days of the oppressed are wretched,

but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.

16 Better a little with the fear of the Lord

than great wealth with turmoil.

How many awful lives of the “rich and famous” do we have to see to know that truth?

17 Better a meal of vegetables where there is love

than a fattened calf with hatred.

18 A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension,

but a patient man calms a quarrel.

19 The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns,

but the path of the upright is a highway.

20 A wise son brings joy to his father,

but a foolish man despises his mother.

21 Folly delights a man who lacks judgment,

but a man of understanding keeps a straight course.

22 Plans fail for lack of counsel,

but with many advisers they succeed.

23 A man finds joy in giving an apt reply—

and how good is a timely word!

24 The path of life leads upward for the wise

to keep him from going down to the grave.

25 The Lord tears down the proud man’s house

but he keeps the widow’s boundaries intact.

26 The Lord detests the thoughts of the wicked,

but those of the pure are pleasing to him.

27 A greedy man brings trouble to his family,

but he who hates bribes will live.

28 The heart of the righteous weighs its answers,

but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.

29 The Lord is far from the wicked

but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

30 A cheerful look brings joy to the heart,

and good news gives health to the bones.

31 He who listens to a life-giving rebuke

will be at home among the wise.

32 He who ignores discipline despises himself,

but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.

33 The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom,

and humility comes before honor.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Notice how pride is at the root of so many of those warnings!


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