Proverbs 14:3-4 – A man’s words and conversation are a window to the attitudes of his heart.

attitudeWhether consciously or subconsciously, you and I observe attitudes in others every day.  A teenager might comment about an acquaintance, “He copped an attitude”; meaning he was evidencing a bad attitude. Attitudes are typically defined as good or bad.

Today’s devotional focuses on Attitudes of the heart.  A man’s attitude toward God is the subject of Proverbs 14:2, a parable that draws a contrast between the righteous and the wicked.

Proverbs 14:2“He that walketh in his uprightness [integrity; morally right; straight] feareth [worships and reveres] the LORD: but he that is perverse [turns aside; devious] in his ways despiseth Him [has contempt for the Lord].”

The righteous man is a man of integrity; he reveres and fears the Lord. The upright follows a path that is morally right and straight. The immoral man denies God with his lips and life; he rejects moral restraints. He holds contempt in his heart for God and his path is one of moral twists and turns.Power-of-Words-300x175

In Proverbs 14:3, Solomon teaches his son that a man’s words and conversations expose whether he is numbered among the foolish or wise.  In other words, a man’s words and conversation are a window to the attitudes of his heart.

Proverbs 14:3“In the mouth of the foolish [in a fool’s mouth] is a rod [twig or shoot of a tree] of pride [haughtiness; arrogance]: but the lips of the wise [wise men’s lips] shall preserve them [guard; keep; guide].”

Let’s take our analogy of a fruit tree and meditate on Proverbs 14:3. According to www.bestapples.com, there are more than 7,500 varieties of apples in the world; however, it should not surprise you that all apples grow on apple treesCommon sense dictates that a tree bearing apples is an apple tree!

apple treeFor the sake of our study of Proverbs 14:3, I suggest we name the fool’s tree Arrogance. Remember, the Bible’s definition of a fool is not one who is intellectually deficient, but one who is spiritually defiant. The psalmist writes, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is No God (Psalms 14:1).  The tree of an arrogant fool sends forth shoots whose root is pride (14:3a). Haughty and demeaning words are the fruit borne by Arrogance. When he is young, the words of an arrogant fool are dismissed as immaturity, but when he is older, his brazen words are like bitter fruit.

Contrast the words of Arrogance with those of the wise man. A wise man speaks Truth with discretion and restraint. Like “apples of gold in pictures of silver”, the words of a wise man are “fitly spoken” (Proverbs 25:11).

A fool spews venom from his mouth and invites punishment.  A wise man guards his lips and they preserve and keep his way.

What about you? What do your words and conversations reveal about your heart and attitudes?

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”