“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits” (v21). The proverbs teach us that our words have tremendous consequences. With our words, we can crush someone’s spirit, stir up a fight, and invite ruin into our lives (v6,7,14). Words can also reveal the depths of our hearts and be a fountain of wisdom to others (v4). By speaking thoughtfully, kindly, and truthfully, over time, our words produce good fruit in our relationships and our work (v20).
In a world that celebrates impulsive, brash tweets and sound bites, the Bible teaches us to be quiet listeners and gentle speakers, men and women with “intelligent hearts” (v15).