I wrote last week about the pain that our words can bring. Our current culture accepts the verbal shredding of others with different worldviews, while simultaneously decrying it. So, I’m not going to dwell on that portion of this week’s verse. The phrase that stands out to me is “words of the wise.”
The phrase seems simple enough but it contains much depth.
- What is wisdom? Wisdom is the application of knowledge. For example: A child knows that hot things burn. When he chooses not to touch a lit stove, he has applied knowledge and shown wisdom, The “words of the wise” are more than a bunch of facts; they are the employment of those facts to a specific situation.
- From where does wisdom come? As I already stated, wisdom requires more than learning. Exercising wisdom exercises understanding how to fit facts together. This ability comes from a place of humility. Solomon understood he didn’t have all the answers when he asked God for wisdom to rule his people. (1 Kings 3) A truly wise person knows that wisdom comes from God. As Psalm 111:10a states, “Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom.”
- How do I acquire wisdom? Simple. Spend time with God and in his word. Because wisdom is the application of facts, knowing God’s tenants and commands is the first requirement for wisdom. The second part of Psalm 111:10 adds, “All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom.
The “words of the wise” bring healing because those words come from the Healer. If I try to help someone based on my own knowledge, it will fall flat more often than not. But when I speak God’s word to someone, the healing begins because those words breathe life and flow from God. I hope this week you will seek for your words to bring healing and not hurt.
“Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.” Proverbs 12:18
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