The heart of the wise teaches his mouth,
And adds learning to his lips.
This verse was one that always seemed somewhat straight forward to me, and it certainly is that. Having wisdom will impact what comes out of your mouth.Then I ran into it in the ESV (the above is NKJV) – where learning is translated persuasiveness. And suddenly – this verse seemed to sum up so much of what my heart desires as I interact with my children. “The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious, and adds persuasiveness to his lips.”
Have you ever found yourself talking at your children, talking over them, hastily running through the motions of correcting them by blabbing on about not being unkind. Have you found yourself not being persuasive? Has your tongue just been a tool of criticism, but not persuasion? Of course this is not limited to conversations with our children -this could just as easily be coworkers, friends, family members.
The thing that is so sweet about this verse is that it is not about how educated you are. It is not about having a handy bagful of perfect things to say at the right times. This verse is, in a way, a promise of what wisdom will produce in your life. And how can we get wisdom?
Job 28:28 “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.”
So getting wisdom is not about going back and having a Christian past, or going back to pay attention in school. Wisdom is about fearing the Lord and departing from evil. It is about doing it now, and doing it tomorrow. When you fear God, and when you repent of sin, your heart will grow wise. And that, in turn, will affect your communication. Because your mouth reveals the state of your heart. And when your heart is right – that will be clear in your words.