Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 12:14
"A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his words,and the deeds of a man's hands will return to him"
Solomon sums up the two sources of a good life in this proverb: what you say and what you do. This is short and sweet and true. If you bludgeon people with your words or gossip, you will destroy your own life. If you are lazy or slow or have no surplus out of which to share with others, you will receive back a diminished life.
This is the Hebrew word sabea which means to be satisfied; to be fulfilled. The idea here is to have a good life where it fills you up. Where you are enjoying life. One of the images I have used in the past is having a very satisfying meal and, therefore, being full and knowing that you also have a full refrigerator full of food for the future. This is what satisfied means.
Solomon says that when you use the right words and the right deeds, this is the kind of life that will be harvested.
This is the Hebrew word tob which means good or beneficial or pleasant. Solomon is using this word to say that how you use words and the ones that you allow to escape from your mouth will create either the benefit or cursings that you will live in. If you want to live in a relational sewer, then use words that point out the flaws, the mistakes, and the problems with everyone. If, however, you want to enjoy a picnic-like atmosphere with the people in your life, use words that will help people be around you. Focus on people's strengths and people's positive actions.
fruit of his words
Our words bear fruit. They go out from our mouth and plant themselves in the lives of other people and grow. They either grow thorns, weeds, thistles, or fruit. Ask yourself what kind of words could you use today that will grow fruit in other people's life. This is especially true of your loved ones. We are often so careless with what we say to those who are closest to us.
I heard one good man say that at one point in his life he made a commitment to never treat anyone better than he treated his wife and family. He had discovered that he was treating strangers with greater kindness and mercy and grace than he was treating his family.
Life is Relationships.
The quality and depth of your relationships is the quality and depth of your life, and how you talk about people and to people is crucial to building great relationships and therefore a great life. Not everything you think or flashes across your mind should see the light of day through your mouth. Not everything that is true about another person should be said.
I cannot stress it enough that you must focus on a person's strengths and positive qualities if you are to build a quality life. No one wants to have their weaknesses and mistakes pointed out. I realize that some of you see people's mistakes and problems with laser-like accuracy, but you must get past this. If a person has weaknesses, they also have strengths. These must be focused on.
The second part of this equation is equally true and will result in the life you live. The nature of your deeds: Are they half-hearted? Are they creative? Are they above and beyond what is expected? Are they complete? Are they accurate? Are they consistent? Are they helpful? Are they selfish? Are they rebellious? Are they impulsive? Are they planned? Are they strategic?
All of these – and many more – can describe the way you work. Your life will be the reflection of the payback of the way you work and the way you live. God has given you a cause-and-effect universe. Make the most of it. Live to glorify Him.