They’re Hungry. What Are You Serving?
10 The lips of the righteous feed many, But fools die for lack of wisdom.
Scripture teaches that we literally “feed” others with our speech.
“Feed many”. The lips of the righteous “feed many”. We were created with a vital need for nourishment. Not only must we eat, but we must consume nutritious food daily. If we who are in Christ are righteous, then we must ask ourselves, “what are we serving others through our speech?” Because we indeed “feed” others through our comments and conversation.
Wow! Let’s ponder that for a moment. Instantly, someone has come to your mind. Someone whose words were so full of counsel and sound, godly judgement that, even if you didn’t like what you were hearing, you listened… really listened. My granddaddy was one such person. My memories of him are mostly in the years following his retirement—tending his land, working in his garden and continually serving family, friends and those whom God brought into his circle of influence. He could always be found speaking truths from the Word, always ready to help a person make application of those truths in his or her life. Whether while sitting on a porch swing, shelling pecans, or repairing something in his shop, Granddaddy somehow seemed to always have a word spoken in patience, humility, and love. He literally was “feeding” those around him.
Immediately upon hearing, godly conversation and insight just seem to go down into the deepest part of you. It takes root. However, there were times when I was young, when Granddaddy spoke, I just wanted him to make his point so the conversation could just move along. Foolish. How foolish. I’ve spent the last 22 years since his passing, thinking of him almost daily. Reflecting on his teaching and the impact he had on me spiritually. He literally “fed” many. Some listened, and seeds were planted and watered over time, and spiritual insight and growth flourished. Those who didn’t listen and learn took some hard knocks in life. Others that he counseled and tried to influence for the Lord left this earth never tasting the true riches of God’s grace. As Proverbs 21:10 says, “fools die for a want of wisdom”. They just don’t want it. Some want to be fed, others don’t. Some are foolish and don’t even realize they are starving to death while sitting at a bountiful table of friends and family (even strangers sometimes) filled with Godly wisdom and insight, but they just won’t eat.
Purposing our words to be filled with grace has to be one of the most difficult growth exercises we as Christians must engage in.A bad night’s sleep, a series of negative events—you name it! Almost anything can take us from speaking in truth and love, to speaking in the flesh.Consequently, it is extremely sobering to understand that according to Proverbs 10:21, life and death is on the line. Words matter.Let us pray for godly discernment and control over our conversations.Confess and ask for forgiveness quickly when we fail, and remember that, like one who serves a thirsty man a drink or a starving woman a meal, what we bring to the table matters.
Questions To Ponder
What types of character traits are being contrasted in this verse?
How are nourishment and death contrasted?
What makes one righteous / foolish?
Ask God to help you discern what He’s showing you in His Word this week. Ask for help in implementing it in your life.
Scripture Memory | January | Proverbs 17:9
“Whoever would foster love covers over an offense,
but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”