Reading the Word
Ecclesiastes 10:12–15 (ESV)
12 The words of a wise man’s mouth win him favor, but the lips of a fool consume him.
13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness, and the end of his talk is evil madness.
14 A fool multiplies words, though no man knows what is to be, and who can tell him what will be after him?
15 The toil of a fool wearies him, for he does not know the way to the city.
Understanding and Applying the Word
Our words tell a great deal about us. The wise person chooses his words carefully and is not quick to say things that he does not know or is unsure of. However, the fool multiplies words. He is more than willing to share his thoughts and opinions on things, including things he does not and cannot know, such as things about the future. The fool is pictured as so clueless he cannot even find his way back home to his city.
We live in a time and place where we are encouraged to speak, post, and tweet our words all day and on every topic under the sun. It is so counter-cultural to hear the Bible’s teaching on this matter. The wise are careful with their words because they know they do not and cannot know everything about every topic. The fool, however, ignores this truth and is eager to speak.
The first line of this passage tells us the result of wisdom and foolishness in our words. Wise words win favor from others while foolish words consume the fool who speaks them. One will bring good to the person while the other destroys. Let us choose our words carefully in a world that has thrown off all restraint.
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