It’s amazing the conversations you have when your office is coffee shops.
In this season before The Purpose Community Church launches, I make a regular rotation through various coffee shops. And what you can talk about with people is astounding.
Eventually you start to see patterns emerge:
- The fighter: He or she will always take the other side of the conversation just to watch the sparks fly.
- The peacekeeper: Just trying to keep everyone happy.
- The partier: Let’s just have fun!
- The sage: When they speak, everyone listens.
- The fool: You wonder if they speak simply because they can’t stand the silence. And they’re always right (even if “the sage” has already spoken).
These aren’t new patterns, of course. And I’m certainly not the first to notice them. I’m not even using the cleverest words, but it’s remarkable how wisdom and folly replay themselves over and over in our conversations.
Proverbs 14:3 observes:
A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride, but the lips of the wise protect them.
Isn’t it interesting that it’s our words this Proverbs focuses on? It’s our words, after all, revealing what’s happening in our hearts. Therefore, it’s more than just words. The “mouth” and “lips” this proverb refers to is a way of describing our behavior—our lives.
Simply put, there’s a reason wise people are generally better off than the unwise. It’s not just that they’ve amassed enough information to make informed decisions. Instead, there’s a character that the Lord has developed in them producing a wise life. More than words—it’s words put into action.
I want you to understand exactly what this proverb is teaching. The expression “lashes out with pride” can also be conveyed as “becomes a rod that beats him” (New Living Translation).
The “fool’s mouth” ends up bringing calamity on themselves. Through their words put into action, they prove they are without knowledge and—according to the Scriptures’ use of the word—without the influence of God in their lives.
Oh dear one in Christ, evaluate your words because they reveal your heart. Evaluate your heart because it is demonstrated in your life. And your life is the “loud conversation” your friends, family, coworkers, and others are hearing.