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 12:18-19: “There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health. 19 The truthful lip shall be established forever, But a lying tongue is but for a moment.”
Whoever composed the children’s rhyme, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me,” never read this proverb. Words can penetrate, slash, slice, peel, and pare the very core of a person’s heart. Verbal “bullying” can produce a defeat the same as physical “bullying.” Another proverb says, “The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost body” (Proverbs 18:8). People are as eager to swallow talebearing as if it were “tasty trifles.” The “lying tongue” is quickly proven to be “lying,” thus the life of a lie is “but for a moment.” No one should give a “talebearer” an ear to bear the tale to! Jesus Christ thought names and labels can be hurtful when He said: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matthew 5:21-22). Propagandists specialize in using hurtful names and labels that intimidate the souls of good people.
“The tongue of the wise” can speak words that go deeply into another person’s heart, but they do not hurt or injure, for they are “truth.” “Truth” is eternal, because it originated with God, for: “He is a God of truth” (Deuteronomy 32:3-4); “For the word of the LORD is right, And all His work is done in truth” (Psalm 33:4); so that we may “know the certainty of the words of truth” (Proverbs 22:21); Jesus’ enemies even said, “we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth” (Matthew 22:16); and Jesus declared, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37). Truth will always prevail, “For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth” (2 Corinthians 13:8). Let us never be victimized by the “lying tongue,” but seek the “health” that only comes from the truth!
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.