Scripture reading – Proverbs 10
“Hatred Exploits What Love Conceals” (Proverbs 10:12)
Proverbs 10:12 – “Hatred [an attitude that detests, despises] stirreth up [awakens] strifes [discords; contentions]: but love [genuine, sincere love of a friend] covereth [conceals; hides; passes over] all sins [transgression; rebellion; guilt].”
Have you ever wondered why there is so much strife and discord in the world? Solomon diagnosed the root cause of a pervasive, contentious spirit, and stated simply: “Hatred stirreth up strifes” (10:12a). To state the same judgment in a different way: Hatred, not love, disrupts, denigrates, damages, and devastates all whose life it touches. Hatred provokes strife in marriages, families, friendships, and congregations.
Paul identified pride as the root cause of envy and strife in his letter to Timothy (1 Timothy 6:4). John wrote concerning Diotrephes, who was a cause of grief and a source of discord in the early church: “Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence [ambitious, and striving to be first] among them, receiveth us not” (3 John 1:9). Some will dress up strife in a garb of religious piety; however, the presence of unresolved conflict is indicative of an unforgiving spirit. Such a spirit, if unchecked, will become antagonistic, and destroy friendships, families and fellowships.
A second principle from Proverbs 10:12 is, “love covereth all sins” (10:12b).
Biblical love does not overlook sin, for that would contradict the ways of the LORD, (Proverbs 3:11-12), and the Scriptures. After all, believers are commanded to lovingly, and meekly address sin in each other’s life (Matthew 18:15-17; Galatians 6:1). What does it mean, “love covereth all sins?”
Sincere, genuine love longs to forgive, and will not unnecessarily expose the sins, failures, and shortcomings of one who is loved. Biblical, Christ-like love is longsuffering, kind, gracious, and forgiving (1 Corinthians 13:4-6).
Closing thought – In his letter to believers in the 1st century, Peter wrote: “And above all things have fervent charity [self-sacrificing love] among yourselves: for charity shall cover [forgives; overlooks] the multitude of sins [personal offenses]” (1 Peter 4:8).
Hatred reveals, what love conceals; hatred exploits, what love forgives (Ephesians 4:31-32).
Copyright © 2021 – Travis D. Smith
Careful: Your Lips Will Reveal Your Heart (Proverbs 10:31-32)
Proverbs 10:31 – “The mouth [speech; utterance] of the just [righteous; lawful] bringeth forth [utters; bears the fruit of] wisdom [shrewdness; skillful use of knowledge]: but the froward [perverse; swearing] tongue [speech; evil speaker] shall be cut out [cut down; destroyed; punished].
The tongue was a frequent subject of Solomon’s proverbs, and the Scriptures abound with examples of its use, and misuse. James wrote, “the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things…6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity…8 the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:5-6, 8).
Controlling one’s tongue is a challenge; however, it is not the small member in our mouth that is the trouble. The problem is the heart.
The words and conversations of the God-fearing righteous will evidence grace, godly wisdom and discernment. By contrast, the tongue of the wicked is perverse, and will be known for lies, and speaking evil of others. Jesus taught His disciples, “those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart…For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matthew 15:18-19).
Proverbs 10:32 – 32The lips [language; speech] of the righteous [just; lawful] know [perceive; understand; acknowledge; observe] what is acceptable [desired; delightful; pleasing]: but the mouth [speech; utterance] of the wicked [ungodly; lawless] speaketh forwardness [perverse; is obstinate].”
Listen to a man’s conversation long enough, and you can discern his character. We would do well to understand that words matter, and they are a window into the soul. The substance and character of a man will be revealed in his words. A good, just man will encourage the soul with words that edify, and are pleasing. A righteous man understands the power of a well-spoken word (Psalm 37:30). The wicked, however, are proud and their words cut, and conversations are perverse.
Closing thoughts – What do your words and conversations reveal about your character?
Be careful how you answer that question. The true measure of your inner man is revealed in your words and conversations. Understanding the power of a spoken word, we would do well to embrace Paul’s challenge to believers of the church in Colosse:
Colossians 4:6 – 6 Let your speech [word; conversation] be alway [ever] with grace [acceptable; favor; kindness], seasoned [i.e. spiced; prepared] with salt [purifying; a natural preservative], that ye may know how ye ought [should] to answer [respond] every man.
Copyright © 2021 – Travis D. Smith