The Way That Seems Right to Man

Appropriately spoken words that encourage, soothe, or commend can be very uplifting, even to the point of helping someone feel better physically. It is a well known fact that our mental well being has a lot to do with our physical well being. If you are fortunate enough to have a … More

Encouragement

For centuries people have talked about a fountain of youth. The fountain of youth was only a dream, but the wellspring of life is reality (v. 22). The choice is yours. You can be encouraged by God’s wisdom, or you can be dragged down by the weight of your own foolishness. The word for understanding in this verse is prudence or insight. Prudence is like a fountain of life. It is refreshing, life sustaining and inexhaustible. Folly, on the other hand, results in punishment.  A wise person is very careful about what he says because he does not want to hurt but instead he wants to help others. He does not blurt out whatever comes to his mind (v. 23). Have you ever gone to visit and encourage someone who is ill or shut in only to find that they encouraged you more than you encouraged them? They were a testimony to you of this verse. “Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones” (v. 24).

This verse is a repeat of (Prov. 14:12). When the Bible says something more than once you can be sure it is very important. In this case the danger of refusing the path of wisdom for self-chosen ways can only end in death (v. 25). The danger of self-delusion is so real that warning upon warning must be issued against it. A man’s appetite motivates him to work so that with his wages he can buy food (v. 26). It is because of his desire to be satisfied with the fruits of his labor that a person pursues his occupation. Wealth gotten without labor is usually a very dangerous thing. It often leads men into all kinds of vices and to the place that they do not think that they need God. After man’s fall in the garden it has been part of God’s plan that he should labor for his bread with the sweat of his brow.

Application

I need to make a list of things I can do to make others happy. One of these items needs to be that I will be careful to guard my tongue so I will not say things that hurt others?

Proverbs 16:23-26 (English Standard Version)


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