1 A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge,
but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.
3 The eyes of the Lord are everywhere,
keeping watch on the wicked and the good.
4 The soothing tongue is a tree of life,
but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.
5 A fool spurns a parent’s discipline,
but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.
6 The house of the righteous contains great treasure,
but the income of the wicked brings ruin.
7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge,
but the hearts of fools are not upright.
8 The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked,
but the prayer of the upright pleases him.
9 The Lord detests the way of the wicked,
but he loves those who pursue righteousness.
10 Stern discipline awaits anyone who leaves the path;
the one who hates correction will die.
11 Death and Destruction lie open before the Lord—
how much more do human hearts!
12 Mockers resent correction,
so they avoid the wise.
13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful,
but heartache crushes the spirit.
14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge,
but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.
15 All the days of the oppressed are wretched,
but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.
16 Better a little with the fear of the Lord
than great wealth with turmoil.
17 Better a small serving of vegetables with love
than a fattened calf with hatred.
18 A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict,
but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.
19 The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns,
but the path of the upright is a highway.
20 A wise son brings joy to his father,
but a foolish man despises his mother.
21 Folly brings joy to one who has no sense,
but whoever has understanding keeps a straight course.
22 Plans fail for lack of counsel,
but with many advisers they succeed.
23 A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—
and how good is a timely word!
24 The path of life leads upward for the prudent
to keep them from going down to the realm of the dead.
25 The Lord tears down the house of the proud,
but he sets the widow’s boundary stones in place.
26 The Lord detests the thoughts of the wicked,
but gracious words are pure in his sight.
27 The greedy bring ruin to their households,
but the one who hates bribes will live.
28 The heart of the righteous weighs its answers,
but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.
29 The Lord is far from the wicked,
but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
30 Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart,
and good news gives health to the bones.
31 Whoever heeds life-giving correction
will be at home among the wise.
32 Those who disregard discipline despise themselves,
but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.
33 Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord,
and humility comes before honor.
March 15 Daily Devotional
1. Let’s examine verse 1: A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. We KNOW this is true, yet we continue to stir up anger with those around us just because we use harsh, disrespectful, sarcastic words instead of gentle, respectful responses.
How have you seen this truth at work or at home in your life?
Responding in truth YET keeping it positive is not easy. It takes self-control and prayer to remain gentle in difficult conversations or confrontations; HOWEVER, we are clearly told to keep our words positive. Why does using negativity seem to be the easier, more popular way to converse?
Is there a relationship in your life that would improve if your words were gentle instead of harsh? If so- what is your plan to change?
2. Verse 4 says that our words can be soothing or they can _________________ someone’s spirit.
3. How can you improve relationships around you this week?
4. What is God convicting you of right now? It might be harsh words, lies, gossip, and negative speech…. When we get convicted of a ‘sin’ area in our life, we should focus on our hearts. Verse 11 tells us: Death and Destruction lie open before the Lord—how much more do human hearts! God knows our hearts- Spend some time in prayer today examining your heart- Is your ‘heart issue’ impacting your walk with the Lord and your relationship with those around you? If so, it’s time to deal with it. Confess it to the Lord; confess it to those you have impacted; Make changes for God’s glory. What changes do you need to make?
1. Reveal any areas of sin in my heart that I might confess and be pure before the Lord.