Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge (Proverbs 14:7, NKJV). Who is the fool? From the vantage point of those who think in accordance with the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4), all those who belong to Christ (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:18-31). To that degree then, let us leave those who think Christians are foolish because the real fool is the one who thinks and lives as if there is no God (cf. Psalm 14:1). The message the real fool lives by is a message that originates and perpetuates moral relativism, existence coming into being without any sufficient cause, and all sorts of ideas that speak against the very idea of God. There is no way to learn anything of eternal substance from those who are fools. While they call Christians foolish, who is really the fool?
“A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke” (Proverbs 13:1, NKJV). Wisdom is a taught “commodity.” It is gained by observation, but only a little. It is gained by experience, but only a little bit more. It is gained by observation, experience, and learning. When it is implemented in the life of a young son, then that son has set for him a compass and a pathway for life. On the other hand, one who is called a scoffer is the worst kind of fool. “Know it all’s” (for that is what a scoffer is) are so sharp their knives couldn’t slice through butter. Instead, they will set the knife down and try to walk on that butter, having their path greased toward destruction.
The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray (Proverbs 12:26, NKJV). This should go without saying, but unfortunately it can’t. There are many saints who have chosen associates that do not think along the same line. This is not to say that one can’t have friends that are non-Christians, but these close associates that live contrary to the Lord’s way – of what kind of influence will they render? The graveyards are full of those associations where the saints allowed him or herself to be won to the side of evil, thinking they could turn the other to the Lord. As a reminder, let us be sure who is influencing who, how, and with what. RT
Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad (Proverbs 12:25, NKJV). There are anxieties in the lives of each, but those anxieties are not all the same. There are some anxious moments that pass after but a short period of time; then there are those anxieties that seem to be extended. In both cases, to the Lord one should turn. More than that, however, even when there is no experience of anxiety (or depression) one should turn to the Lord – because to whom else can one turn? RT
Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal truthfully are His delight (Proverbs 12:22, NKJV). While the proverb addresses the words spoken to another, it is amazing how many people actually lie to themselves, and feel as if they are not guilty of what is said by the Holy Spirit. Lying has everything to do with intent. Someone can be factually wrong, but have no intent to deceive; these people are mistaken, but not liars. On the other hand, those who intend to deceive (including self), these people are liars. Let us be grateful to the Lord for His truthfulness at all times and in every generation. RT
Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, But counselors of peace have joy (Proverbs 12:20, NKJV). To get a better sense of the proverb, the NET reads: “Deceit is in the heart of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy.” Jeremiah said, “The human mind is more deceitful than anything else. It is incurably bad. Who can understand it?” (17:9, NET) In other words, deceit finds its home in the heart of one who has no interest in the good that resides with God. Deceit is part and parcel of one’s moral compass. RT
The truthful lip shall be established forever, But a lying tongue is but for a moment (Proverbs 12:19, NKJV). When I was much younger, I was taught that those who told lies had to remember them. The wisdom of that remark did not register with me for a number of years – until I had to remember my own! The truth, on the other hand, never has to be remembered because it is implanted on the brain in such a way that recall is much easier. It is possible, with time, that the truth (or facts) to fade, but it returns when there are triggering mechanisms employed. RT
There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health (Proverbs 12:18, NKJV). A properly placed word to another can make a tremendous difference in the life of the recipient. Paul said as much when he wrote to the church in Colossae. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer everyone (Colossians 4:6, ESV). It is not always easy to know what to say, when to say it, or even how to say it, but when we make application of the Holy Spirit’s word we will be in better position to say it as it needs to be said.
He who speaks truth declares righteousness, But a false witness, deceit
(Proverbs 12:17, NKJV). Fairly obvious, isn’t it? Sometimes the most obvious
can be the first missed. Truth in the ultimate context pertains to the
righteousness of the Lord; what can man know about that which is right unless
the Lord declares what it is? Truth in a local, or practical context,
pertains to saying what is right at the time it needs to be said. It could be a
matter of fact that sheds light on something that is, otherwise, unknown or
unclear. The one who is deceitful, however, manipulates for his own purposes.
A fool’s wrath is known at once, But a prudent man covers shame (Proverbs 12:16, NKJV). The wrath of a person can be as unbecoming as a submarine having a screen hatch! Just as surely as the one will sink, the other will also die. Man’s anger can be controlled; it may take a good deal of effort, but success can be had. On the other hand, the prudent man knows just how to respond to an unseemly situation. He is not interested in exposing shame toward himself or others, but he is interested in helping the foolish man become prudent.