Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 15:4: “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, But perverseness in it breaks the spirit.”
Words are vehicles for ideas, and they reveal the inner heart. Words cannot conceal the real person. “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless” (James 1:26). Just as the prophet Elisha used some salt to purify the water source (2 Kings 2:19-22), so “grace” can sweeten the source of a Christian’s words. “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6).
We should choose to have as much “wholesome” language entering our ears and mind as we possibly can. “Apply your heart to instruction, And your ears to words of knowledge” (Proverbs 23:12). In New Testament terms, we must: “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13).
Other proverbs that emphasis this truth include: “A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!” (Proverbs 15:23); “The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, But the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil” (Proverbs 15:28); “The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, And adds learning to his lips. Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones” (Proverbs 16:23-24); “He who gives a right answer kisses the lips” (Proverbs 24:26); “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).
“Perverseness” is every deviation or destruction of the absolutes of “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). If our minds are flooded with “perverseness,” it is by choice, becomes self-defeating, but can be overcome. God said Israelites “have corrupted themselves” and had become “A perverse and crooked generation” (Deuteronomy 32:5) who were “Children in whom is no faith” (Deuteronomy 32:20). The Gospel of Jesus Christ commanded “all the house of Israel” to “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:36, 38), so that they would “Be saved from this perverse generation” (Acts 2:40). In the generation awash with “media communication,” deliver yourself from Generation P(erverse), and “fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks” (Ephesians 5:3-4), and “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17).
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.