- Dr. Stieglitz
Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 18:6
"A fool's lips brings strife, and his mouth calls for blows"
In this proverb, Solomon exposes the things we don't think about. Many times people just do what they want to or what feels right to them at the time. We don't often realize all that comes with doing what we want to do or saying what we feel like saying.
The word fool is the Hebrew word kesil which means the person who consistently makes wrong choices. This is the opposite of the wise person. The fool makes the selfish and or easy choice. When the selfish person talks, they talk about what they want with little or no regard to how it will sound to others. This behavior often blows up in the face of the foolish person. People get angry as a result. Many times the fool is taken completely off guard and is amazed at how upset people are when all they did was state their opinion or their desire.
This is why Solomon says that strife, fighting, and quarrelling come with a foolish person's lips. If their lips are moving, then a quarrel will result because they cannot pre-listen to what they are saying and they are unwilling to be sensitive to those around them. It is easy for a foolish person to accuse the offended person of overreacting.
If people keep reacting to you or you keep getting in quarrels or fights or losing friends, then it is not them – it is you. You are most likely being selfish.
The old saying sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me is just not true. Some of the deepest wounds are words that have been uttered from a selfish person who was unthinking.
Solomon shares this as a part of leadership training. He shares it with the idea: Make sure that you do not have on your team a foolish person who just keeps stirring the pot through their clinging to and spouting their selfish position.
Solomon also shares this to let leaders know that they have to make sure that they are not talking as a foolish person talks. When you rise to positions of leadership, you do not get the right to spout off about your opinions or your selfish desires. Instead, your speech has to be more measured and careful as you now have the ability to wound more people if you were to express your selfish desires or agenda – even in an off-handed way. How many times have we heard tapes, clips, or notes that were confidential comments that were recorded.
Learn the lessons of leadership. Do not slip into foolish talk. Always think the triple-win. What will allow God to get glory, others to win, and you to enjoy benefit? Think wisdom – not what do I really want.