Proverbs 17-19: Life, Conduct, and The Tongue

Life, Conduct, & The Tongue

Proverbs is a book of wisdom. 31 chapters full of hundreds of verses that can pierce the heart within seconds, showing us if we are being wise as we follow Jesus. Chapters 17-19 deal with how to follow Jesus with wisdom, how our conduct should be including how we carry ourselves, and most importantly…how life and death are found in the power of the tongue.

“A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.” – Proverbs 17:10

“Why should a fool have money in his hand to buy wisdom when he has no sense?” – Proverbs 17:16

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” – Proverbs 17:22

Someone of wisdom can take a rebuke and be called out in regards to how they are living because they have a desire to grow and understand they are not always going to get it right. The “fool” can be called out hundreds of times and it’ll make no difference. How we accept a rebuke can reveal a lot about us.

Likewise, the Bible speaks to how there’s no point to try to buy wisdom, if you don’t have any sense. We can’t just go out and buy wisdom and all the money in the world won’t make a difference, without sense. Where does sense come from? From the one who created wisdom..the one true God. Without Him, we’ll have no sense, and have no true wisdom.

We have amazing opportunities as Christians to give good medicine to others if we are joyful. Our culture and world lately isn’t really about joy…but about hate, intolerance, crimes, war, etc. It’s refreshing to encounter someone who is joyful. We have every reason to be joyful as believers because of what Jesus has done for us on the cross and that will speak volumes to a dying world.

The Words We Use Reveal Our Hearts

“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” – Proverbs 18:2

“A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating.” – Proverbs 18:6

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.” – Proverbs 18:10

The words we say or the words we choose to listen to reveal where our hearts are as we follow Jesus. Chances are if we haven’t been spending time with God, our words become more worldly…we’ll be involved in crude joking…we’ll be involved in gossip…we’ll tear down others with how we talk about them…we won’t use language that glorifies The Lord.

We’ll want to just express our opinions and not really care to listen to others. We’ll just walk straight into a fight and start mouthing off. We’ll rely more on ourselves, rather than the Lord who we can find safety in.

On the flip side, as we grow in our walk with Christ, we’ll start to speak differently. We’ll use words to build each other up…we’ll encourage one another…we’ll give compliments more often to people…we’ll show forgiveness in how we speak…we’ll actually use language that glorifies Jesus.

We’ll slow down and listen to others trying to gain an understanding of what they’re going through. We’ll be patient in all conversations, especially difficult ones, to avoid fighting as we can. We’ll run to God for safety and for strength to lead us instead of relying on ourselves.

“Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.” Proverbs 19:1

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21

Questions: Based on Proverbs 17-19, how has your speech been? Can you say by the words you use and the current conduct you’ve been using, does it line up with Scripture? Why or why not? Please comment below and join the discussion.

21 Days of Proverbs


Saved by Grace through Faith. In love with Jesus, His Glory, and obviously my beautiful wife Joelle, daughter Peyton, and son Matthew! Seeking Him in everything to glorify Him and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pastor at Austin Life Church.

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