“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits” (v21). Both the Old and New Testaments teach about the power of our words. We can build others up or tear them down; we can gossip or we can encourage. Harsh words stir up conflict and are a “snare to the soul” (v6-7) The proverbs urge us to use self-control, to listen before we answer (v13). From childhood onward, how we are spoken to and what we say produces life-long “fruit” (v20).
“An intelligent heart acquires knowledge” (v15). Heart-knowledge is formed through relationships with wise and kind people. We can choose to be people of blessing rather than destruction.