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Proverbs 18 (NIV)
18 An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels. 2 Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. 3 When wickedness comes, so does contempt, and with shame comes reproach. 4 The words of the mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream. 5 It is not good to be partial to the wicked and so deprive the innocent of justice. 6 The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating. 7 The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives. 8 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts. 9 One who is slack in his work
is brother to one who destroys. 10 The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. 11 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it a wall too high to scale. 12 Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor. 13 To answer before listening— that is folly and shame. 14 The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear? 15 The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out. 16 A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great. 17 In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right until someone comes forward and cross-examines. 18 Casting the lot settles disputes and keeps strong opponents apart. 19 A brother wronged is more unyielding than a fortified city; disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel. 20 From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips, they are satisfied. 21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. 22 He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord. 23 The poor plead for mercy, but the rich answer harshly. 24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
How do these proverbs relate to forming and articulating an opinion?
Lord, we all have our own thoughts and opinions. Many are developed through life experiences and exposure to family and friends. Some come from values and how we are wired. Everyone has their own and sometimes they conflict opinions of others. Lately, there has been hostility and censorship of others to control and eliminate opinions that are different. That is not Your plan. You have made each of us unique individuals. Diversity working together builds upon each other’s strengths and creates a solid foundation through synergy. Help me to respect others’ opinions and ideas and not be offended when they are not the same as my own. Thank You for the wisdom found in Proverb 18 that provides wisdom in getting along with others. Help me to desire Your wisdom and to please You above all else and not on my selfish desires. Let me seek You and soak up the wisdom of Your Word and weigh all other things against Your Word. To be wise is to be always open to learning and listening for fresh insights. Those who speak against Your Word and Your righteousness cannot be believed. Help me to avoid falling into the trap of listening to gossip and storytelling that has the purpose of hurting others. Wicked people try to condemn the good. Empower my listening and speaking. I need the help of Your Spirit to discern evil and to respond appropriately. Help me to live and love through You. Lord, help me to guard my lips, to be careful about what I say, to work hard, and humbly depend on you. Thank you that your name is a strong tower and a place of safety for all who run to it. Amen