Jesus was always firm in His defense of truth and justice, but he was also always kind and loving in all that He said and did. Even in rebuking and standing up to the proud religious leaders who hated Him unto death, Jesus continually offered them forgiveness and mercy if they would only repent and believe in Him. He prayed for those who persecuted Him, even as they mocked Him while He was dying on the cross. Jesus told us as His disciples to follow His example. As famous Bible teacher Ravi Zacharias has often said and many pastors have repeated to congregations, there is never a reason for a Christian to be unkind. To be rude, bitter, angry, and harsh to anyone, no matter what they have done, is simply not the Christian way.
Today’s longer passage from Proverbs 15 is all about the attitude of the heart. If you keep close fellowship with Jesus, your heart will be filled with His love, joy, and peace. You will be able to maintain a kind and gentle spirit even towards the worst of haters. You will have control over your emotions and be a peacemaker (vv. 1, 18). Your words will bring life (v. 4) and wisdom (vv. 2, 7) to your family and friends. You will shine forth with Christian happiness (v. 13, 15) and love (v. 17). What you are on the inside will pour forth into how you act on the outside.
The heart controls the tongue. That’s why the Bible always urges Christians to take care to guard and watch over their hearts with all diligence. As you think in your heart, so are you. How can we do this? By getting alone with God and His Word in a quiet place each day and submitting to Christ’s Lordship over our lives. It is in the quiet places with God that He renews and transforms your heart into what it should be. If you sense your heart is off course today, go get alone with Jesus. It is His great desire to change you into His image. Are you willing to let Him fill you with His kindness and love today?
The Text (Proverbs 15:1-18)
1 A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.
3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good.
4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, But perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
5 A fool despises his father’s instruction, But he who receives correction is prudent.
6 In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, But in the revenue of the wicked is trouble.
7 The lips of the wise disperse knowledge, But the heart of the fool does not do so.
8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But the prayer of the upright is His delight.
9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But He loves him who follows righteousness.
10 Harsh discipline is for him who forsakes the way, And he who hates correction will die.
11 Hell and Destruction are before the Lord; So how much more the hearts of the sons of men.
12 A scoffer does not love one who corrects him, Nor will he go to the wise.
13 A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
14 The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, But the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness.
15 All the days of the afflicted are evil, But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.
16 Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, Than great treasure with trouble.
17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, Than a fatted calf with hatred.
18 A wrathful man stirs up strife, But he who is slow to anger allays contention.
Questions to Think About
- How is your heart today? If you aren’t sure where you’re at spiritually, ask God to show you as you read today’s passage from Proverbs.
- Are you known by friends and family as a kind and loving person? Why or why not?
- Do you struggle to maintain Christian joy and happiness? Ask God to help you with this (I do regularly!). Some people just struggle more with depression and moodiness than others. But God wants all of His people to walk in His joy! Jesus came to give you an abundant life, even in the midst of trials and pain. Believe that today!