15 There is gold and abundance of costly stones,
but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
17 Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man,
but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.
Just how valuable are our words? What difference does what we say make? Is careless speech just ill-chosen words that don’t matter? Today’s proverbs speaks to the words we say, to what comes out of our mouths. The first proverb compares the lips of knowledge to gold and an abundance of costly stones. This parallel to wealth is common; another proverb says that a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches. We do not have to look very far to see unhappy wealthy people. The stars of society, the ones with the most money and the most fame seem to have great sorrow and misery in life. No, wealth and happiness are not synonymous.
As we think about words and wealth, we think about that person who always knows the right thing to say, they have a gift of great value. We want them around us when we cannot fix a relationship and we call them for advice because they just seem to know the right words to say. Their knowledge is a precious jewel in almost every situation.
The second proverb speaks to the man who uses his words for deceitful gain. He boasts about what he did and how he got rich. He likes his life and he likes the fact that he tricked someone else to get what he wanted. He struts in pride over his deceitfully gained bread. But (and whenever this word is used it expresses a different point of view) afterward there is no value in him for his words were not of value. “His mouth will be full of gravel.” This is quite a different picture from the mouth who speaks words of knowledge that are a precious jewel. A mouthful of gravel is disgusting! People walk on gravel, weather beats it, it is filled with all types of disgusting refuse and it used to describe the value of the words of those who use deception to better themselves.
Our words matter. Before speaking, let’s think about the value of what we are going to say, the truth behind it and why it will build up those who hear us. Perhaps we will come to be known as people whose words are like precious jewels.
We are rejoicing today that our brother Kongkin is both still with us and seeing improvement. His heart attack on Saturday was caused by an artery that was 99% blocked. God spared his life and spared us from great grief. Pray that his body will soon be able to receive a second stint in another artery that is 80% blocked.
Yesterday, sorry all of you in Chicago and the Midwest who are suffering through an Arctic Blast, we took Jared on the treadmill and then to the (outdoor) pool. He loves getting in and kicking his feet, throwing the ball, and splashing whomever is there.
Have a great day in the Lord,