More words today from Solomon on our speech. It seems, as we move deeper into Proverbs, that more and more of the verses focus on our speech: how we respond to others, how we should think before speaking, how we should listen to others more than speak over others. Here are a few verses for today:
An evildoer listens to wicked lips; and a liar gives heed to a mischievous tongue. Those who mock the poor insult their Maker; those who are glad at calamity will not go unpunished. Fine speech is not becoming to a fool; still less is false speech to a ruler. A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of those who give it; wherever they turn they prosper. One who forgives an affront fosters friendship, but one who dwells on disputes will alienate a friend. A rebuke strikes deeper into a discerning person than a hundred blows into a fool. (Prov. 17:4-10)
What verse jumped out at you today? I think for me it is: "One who forgives an affront fosters friendship, but one who dwells on disputes will alienate a friend." We will all say and do things that hurt others - most often we don't mean to, but it happens. Likewise, the same will happen to us. How we respond will determine whether the friendship survives. It's easy to dwell on "disputes" - to remember the hurt, to linger over the words, to get caught up in who was right and who was wrong. Forgiveness isn't always easy, but it restores friendships and family relationships. And that's without throwing in the line from the Lord's Prayer: "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."
Meditation: Select one of the verses for today and think about it for just a few minutes. Why is it that it was that verse that spoke most to you?