18 Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;
he breaks out against all sound judgment.
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
but only in expressing his opinion.
When wickedness comes, contempt comes also,
and with dishonor comes disgrace.
The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters;
the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.
It is not good to be partial to the wicked
or to deprive the righteous of justice.
A fool’s lips walk into a fight,
and his mouth invites a beating.
A fool’s mouth is his ruin,
and his lips are a snare to his soul.
The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.
Whoever is slack in his work
is a brother to him who destroys.
The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
A rich man’s wealth is his strong city,
and like a high wall in his imagination.
Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty,
but humility comes before honor.
If one gives an answer before he hears,
it is his folly and shame.
A man’s spirit will endure sickness,
but a crushed spirit who can bear?
An intelligent heart acquires knowledge,
and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
A man’s gift makes room for him
and brings him before the great.
The one who states his case first seems right,
until the other comes and examines him.
The lot puts an end to quarrels
and decides between powerful contenders.
A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city,
and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.
From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied;
he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruits.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing
and obtains favor from the LORD.
The poor use entreaties,
but the rich answer roughly.
A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18 Commentary
by Hank Workman
“He who separates himself seeks his own desire; he quarrels against all sound wisdom.”Proverbs 18:1
Hello kettle, this is the pot. Sometimes we say something that should be done but we ourselves struggle to do the very same. I feel like the pot today as I wrestle with these truths.
This is a convicting proverb personally. It’s probably an accurate statement to say we all at times separate ourselves from others and advice or even relationships. For whatever reason from out past we’ve learned through being burned or hurt that it’s simply safer to not invite people into our struggle. We cut ourselves off and stop communication. Alienation grows thick. False thoughts become facts in our mind and we act upon them or at least set our mindset toward action that brings more heartache or inner turmoil. I know.
This is a personal battle I wrestle with more times than I care to admit and I often lose. Small matters become great when I allow my thoughts to rule my decisions. It’s a strange thing really as my personality with things of faith is fairly bold but when it comes to personal matters, I cut and run and alienate myself more. The insane cycle, which I recognize as it’s starting, is something many times I seemingly can’t stop; or I won’t.
Outside perspective to our skewed thinking is needed – all the time. Really, it doesn’t matter what the topic is. If we are not or do not have someone to speak where our mind has taken us, our minds will rule and our actions will follow suit. It requires vulnerability and transparency with another but more importantly a willingness to hear where we are wrong in our thoughts.
Many times our battles are deeply personal. There is nothing good that comes from alienation. Personal loneliness presses in when we are unwilling to bring another into our battle. Even Superman had a weakness. All of us have struggles. We all have issues that will not be overcome unless we are honest first and foremost with God about the struggle and then vulnerable with another who is willing to walk through the darkness of our heart and mind.
Proverbs 18 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Communication is essential for life, and it’s a big part of how we reach the world as Christians. A lot of times you hear the phrase, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” As I read Proverbs 18, I can’t help but think that many times our communication practices are riddled with dysfunction.
“A fool does not delight in understanding, but only wants to show off his opinions.”Proverbs 18:2 HCSB
“A fool’s lips lead to strife, and his mouth provokes a beating. 7 A fool’s mouth is his devastation, and his lips are a trap for his life.”Proverbs 18:6-7 HCSB
I stumbled upon great quote this week from Preston Sprinkle (professor of biblical studies at Eternity Bible College). He was responding to a woman who critically reviewed his book. He said this…
“She doesn’t reflect on my journey, only disagrees with my destination, and never mentions how I arrived there.”Preston Sprinkle
Words matter. Tone matters. Yes, everyone has a “right” to their opinion. But in the family of God, there are standards. Foolish people do not want to listen or understand. They only want to talk. And I would argue that there are many people within God’s Kingdom who use their words foolishly.
“We find again that the fool is a source of trouble. He is the one who is always stirring up contention, issuing complaints, finding fault. We can give another fitting modern proverb: “Be considerate. Most people know how to express a complaint, but few utter a gracious compliment. The bee is seldom complimented for making honey; it is just criticized for stinging.” How true!”J. Vernon McGee