How To Be Wise With Your Mouth And Ears

A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinion. (Proverbs 18:2)

One’s open mouth—and closed ears and mind—says a lot of one’s heart! In this 18th chapter of Proverbs, Solomon draws a pretty stark contrast between the mouth and ears of a fool and of a wise person. Check out the links on each of the verses to Bible Gateway to get a full picture of both the fool and the wise person.

Big MouthThe fool…

  • His lips bring him trouble, a smack on the jaw, and may even cost him his life. And yet he keeps on spouting foolishness. He’s not interested in getting any better (vv. 6, 7).
  • His ears gobble up the latest gossip (v. 8).
  • He fires off an answer before really listening (v. 13).
  • His quick, careless words creates the poison food that he continues to eat (v. 21).

The wise…

  • He is always learning how to use his words in a God-honoring, soul-benefitting way (v. 4).
  • He avoids “cheap candy” gossip (v. 8).
  • He listens fully before trying to respond (v. 13).
  • He asks good, clarifying questions (v. 17).
  • His wise words creates the healthy food that nourishes him (v. 20).

So… are you being wise or foolish with your mouth and ears?

Links & Quotes

link quote

“I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.” —C.S. Lewis

“Jesus spilled His blood for you. You can spill your heart before God.” —Max Lucado

“Too often, when issues of sexual abuse come up, the Church simply stays silent. But a Gospel-centered response to sexual violation of anyone at any age begins with understanding that silence is not an option.” Read more in The Scandal Of Silence.

An abortion clinic in Michigan was shut down for numerous health and safety violations, but now it appears it may re-open.

[VIDEO] Here’s the truth of what abortion providers do—

Eric Metaxas shares the really cool story behind the Navy Hymn.

“You can be saved, Spirit-filled, and walking holy before God, yet still be guilty of unbelief. You may think, ‘I don’t have any unbelief.’ But do you get upset when things go wrong? Are you fearful of failing God? Are you restless, afraid of the future? The believer who has unconditional faith in God’s promise enjoys complete rest. What characterizes this rest? A full, complete confidence in God’s Word, and a total dependence on His faithfulness to that Word. Indeed, rest is the evidence of faith.” —David Wilkerson

Seth Godin discusses what starts to happen when our expectations slip.


15 Quotes From “Stopping Words That Hurt”

Stopping Words That HurtThere was so much for me to process in Stopping Words That Hurt by Dr. Michael Sedler (you can read my full book review by clicking here). If you’ve ever been hurt by someone else’s words about you, there is help for you in this book. If you’ve ever hurt someone else with the words you’ve spoken, there is help for you in this book.

Bottom line: this book can help cut-off hurtful words and evil reports before they gain momentum. Please read this book!

Here are just a few quotes that stood out to me—

“We are so brainwashed into believing that it is permissible to violate one another verbally that it takes a concentrated effort to begin to have a new thought pattern.”

“It is imperative that you understand this truth: Just listening to an evil report can do tremendous damage to your perspective, viewpoint and overall spirit. … Joining in a negatively-driven conversation, no matter how small the participation, may destroy the testimony of a life. Listening to grumbling and ungodly attitudes eventually contaminates the spirit. The more we allow discontent to be taken in by our spirits, the greater the tendency to compromise our own speech patterns. We are being called to a high standard of living where the rewards for our faithfulness are eternal.”

“It is usual for most of us to listen without questioning. We oftentimes want to support a friend, supervisor or person of influence. In fact, a messenger may single us out because she knows we will not disagree with or question her. Are we being used because of our own gullibility and blindness to negative speech patterns?”

“We must have our antennas up and be prepared when we hear negative comments and subtle innuendos about others.”

“If we are unable to recognize the potential destruction caused by negative words, we will eventually cause injury to those around us. And, sadly, we often deceive ourselves into believing there was justification for our actions.”

“It is rude to knowingly be a part of gossip. It is not good manners to listen to verbal assaults and blatant character assassinations of people who are not present to defend themselves. It is foolishness and ignorance. We must open our eyes and discern when we are listening to evil reports in order to be accepted by the crowd.”

“A bold positive response can put out the fire.”

“Learn to avoid the trap of falling into emotional identification by getting information for yourself. Compare your feelings and thoughts with the Bible’s guidelines. Look for corroboration or contradictions as you assess the situation. And, finally, give a little more weight to the perspective of those who have been faithful, trustworthy and proven people of integrity than the words of a stranger or ‘expert’ who has no track record of honesty.”

“Fear can draw us toward God or pull us away. It can create a desire in us to cling to the truth or alter our perception of the truth. While satan wants to use fear to rob us of our faith in God, we need to continue to speak words of truth and confidence regarding our place with Christ.”

“Impurity occurs when we hear evil reports with our natural ears and minds without seeking spiritual wisdom and understanding. If we accept the words of others as truth, we will become filled with a mixture of philosophies, attitudes and beliefs.”

“A person who has responsibility over others also has great influence. If he or she shares a negative report with the general population, those with unguarded spirits will become contaminated.”

“I speak a strong word of caution to husbands and wives, significant others and close family members. We often take on the offense when a loved one is wronged or slighted. And though they may work through the issue, we still hold on to the anger and bitterness.”

“It is difficult to ‘have ears that hear’ at this point in the process. First of all, we do not see ourselves as defiled or polluted. We think we are right and can handle everything ourselves. We are suspicious about counsel. We question the motives of those giving it. We actually fight the process of cleansing using words such as manipulating, self-centered and controlling to describe the interventions of others. We accuse even our closest friends and supporters of being insensitive and uncaring. Whereas once we received challenges and guidance from others, now we meet each comment or suggestion with disdain and animosity. It is during this phase that people have a tendency to reject the process of cleansing, choosing instead to walk away from purity and to blame and curse others for their lack of support and love.”

“In order to heal with words, we must be willing to be persistent with them. Jesus frequently verbalized His love for His disciples. Once is not enough! Encouragement, praise and positive words continue to feed the soul in the same way water moistures the soil. Soil will eventually dry out and need another dose of fresh water.”

“Great people of God find a way to speak hope into others. They give a sense of purpose, of calling, of future, of destiny to those around them.”

Interruptions: The Relationship Killer

Don’t you hate it when…

…someone finishes your sentences.

You’ve got a brilliant thought to share and…

…your friend shares it for you.

Like that killer joke with…

…the great punch line.

Yeah, the one about…

…the guy running to the restroom.

Sometimes it can…


But sometimes…

…it doesn’t.

No, it gets really…


Annoying. Like when I’m trying to tell you about…

…that great ski weekend.

The great church service where…

…the band really rocked it.

Where the pastor totally connected with me. And I realized…

…he’s a great speaker.

That I really need to make some changes in my…

…prayer life.

Listening skills.

Oh, um, yeah.

Scientists estimate that our brains can process up to 25,000 words per minute, but a normal speaking pace is only 140-160 words per minute. Since my brain is zipping along about 150 times faster than my friend is speaking, I really have to guard against jumping to conclusions.

Interruptions never build intimate relationships.

But you can reverse this tendency. Resist the urge to run ahead, to interrupt, to anticipate where your conversation partner is going. You can do it. You can reverse the tendency to interrupt.

I shared a series of messages on Relationship Builders And Killers, if you want to dig deeper into this topic.

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