So many of the Proverbs warn about the fool’s mouth.
Not only are these red flag warnings that you might be dealing with a fool,
they are warnings to our own heart to not behave like a fool.
For the tongue is a fire that can destroy families, friends, and fellowship.
How often I have regretted words spoken in haste.
When Steve was sick, a friend of mine told me that he would be
much more handsome with different glasses.
I mentioned that to him and the look of hurt I’ll never forget.
I know he was thinking: “I may be dying and you are worried about my glasses?”
You can’t retract words.
All you can say is “I’m so sorry. That was so stupid.”
And it was.
How thankful I’d be to have that dear man back with those glasses.
This picture was taken two years before he died.
I saved those glasses to remind me of him,
but they also remind me to put a guard over my mouth.
This picture was taken two years before Steve’s death.
In “I Want To Say I’m Sorry,” Andrew Peterson writes:
Well, I want to say I’m sorry but I don’t know how
But I’m sorry, I’m so sorry now
I said some words to you I wish I never said
I know words can kill ’cause something’s dead
And now my heart is like a catacomb
And I’m praying we can find a way to raise these bones
Again, oh, again
- What stands out to you from the above and why?
- How have you seen God at work in your life in the last 24 hours?
Monday: The “Babbling” Fool
When I was a new Christian in Bible study, and so excited, I said almost any thought that came to my mind and there was so much in my heart it kept flowing over. But maturity leads to restraint and waiting on the Spirit. I know I need to choose my words and give long silences for shy people to gather the courage to speak up. I certainly do not need to say everything in my heart! I’ve noticed how often the word “babbling” (or chattering or prating) occurs to describe a fool, reminding me of a continually babbling fountain. It just won’t stop to take a breath. The Hebrew has the idea of spilling over the lip or boundary.
3. What do the following Proverbs teach about a fool?
A. Proverbs 10:8
B. Proverbs 10:14
C. Proverbs 10:18
4. What verb is used to describe the mouth of a fool in Proverbs 15:2?
5. According to James 1:19-20 what should we do and why?
6. How have you seen God move in the last 24 hours?
Tuesday: Quick to Anger
7. What characteristics of a fool do you see in the following?
A. Proverbs 12:16
B. Proverbs 20:3
C. Proverbs 29:9
D. Proverbs 29:11
8. Jan Silvious makes the point that a fool uses anger to control. Review what she advised the person who is up close and personal with a fool to do. Are you able to do this — if so, what has helped you?
9. Has the Holy Spirit (which I am convinced a true fool does not have) helped you be quick to listen and slow to speak and slow to become angry? If so, share an illustration from your life.
There has been some discussion on whether a fool can be a believer or not — I’ll discuss that more in the next post and you can give your thoughtful input.
Wednesday: How To Respond To A Fool’s Words
8. What the following from Jan and share your comments and thoughts.
I would add to this that in addition to telling your soul, “You are not going to get to me,” I would cry out to God for help for him or her not to get to you. I’m going through the psalms of ascent now (120 to 134) and seeing how after the lament, the psalmist always cries out for help to Yahweh (which means the Great I AM). “Where does my help come from?” From the Maker of Heaven and Earth! He is able to come to our help when we are in the presence of the fool. I know Jan agrees, but I wanted to emphasize this. Ask Him, in faith and confidence, to help you.
9. How have you seen God at work in the last 24 hours?
Thursday: Out of The Overflow Of The Heart
Matthew 12:34; Proverbs 4:23; Proverbs 10:11
10. Our real problem Jesus tells us is not our mouth, but our heart, for out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. What does he say in Matthew 12:34? What does this mean — and how would you apply its truth?
11. What do the following proverbs teach?
A. Proverbs 4:23
B. Proverbs 10:11
Just as it seems to help me to just get rid of junk food, for I’m so easily tempted, it has helped me to get rid of cable television and People Magazine. I like to listen to sermons and edifying audiobooks (usually fiction as I like to underline nonfiction) when I’m multi-tasking. Memorizing 1 John has had a huge impact on me. I love the interaction with you, my rich sisters, on this blog. My local church, my women’s study, and one on one with in-depth believers fill up my heart with riches.
12. What helps you to put good things in your heart? Be specific — even listing great fiction, non-fiction, musical artists, methods. We can help one another!
Friday: Answers Before Listening
I loved the story our own Susan told last week. After she simply asked the woman at the Dry Cleaners how her day was going, the woman said “It will be better after tomorrow.”
Susan heard and knew to draw her out, asking,”What is happening tomorrow?”
And the woman told her that her divorce would be final. Susan listened more and then prayed for her.
Being “other-centered” means you really listen to understand, draw out, and respond. But a fool is self-centered, so really cannot hear.
People have teased Tim Keller that he listens so carefully to someone with an opposing opinion, and repeats it back to him so sympathetically, that he becomes convinced. I don’t think that is true, but I think we need to be open to the fact that we could be wrong.
13. Read Proverbs 18:2. Meditate on it and describe the fool and his motivation here.
14. Read Proverbs 18:13. What does it say?
15. Have you ever had a discussion with someone about abortion, the practice of homosexuality, or the political party that you do not belong to and practiced what Keller advises: listening carefully and repeating their argument back to them sympathetically so they absolutely know they have been heard before you attempt to dismantle it? If so, share here.
16. What stands out to you from the above and why?