Proverbs 16.21, 23-24
“The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness … The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips. Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” ”
These two verses describe wise people who think before acting or speaking. The wise of heart are discerning. They see situations clearly and evaluate the statements that people make, and then they respond carefully, judiciously, and persuasively.
Not everyone can be persuaded, of course, but wise people are able to reach those who are reachable.
Note that gracious, judicious, and persuasive speech comes from the heart of the wise. The wise person speaks from a wise heart, and his words are therefore gracious and helpful. He encourages the hearts of others. His words help and heal.
The foolish person speaks from a foolish heart, and his words are therefore damaging and harmful. He seeks to tear down, criticize, manipulate, and deceive. He doesn’t want to help, he wants to hurt. His words discourage and do damage to others.
Here is a simple discipline you can build into your life that will help be more judicious in your words. Before you speak, press pause and ask yourself:
- Does it align with God’s standards?
- Does it help achieve a goal or solve a problem?
- Does it make the situation better?
May you be discerning and judicious in what you say. May your heart be wise and your words be gracious. What comes from the heart, touches the heart.