Proverbs 10 is a chapter of comparisons and contrasts. One who is wise is compared with one who is foolish; hatred is contrasted with love, the righteous with the wicked. We are reminded that what we do and say does have an impact on those around us, either positive or negative.
A wise son makes a glad father,
but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother. (Verse 1)
The memory of the righteous is a blessing,
but the name of the wicked will rot. (Verse 7)
In contrasting the righteous and wise with the wicked and foolish, it was interesting to me how often the mouth, tongue or lips were used to show on which side a person belongs.
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. (Verse 11)
The one who conceals hatred has lying lips,
and whoever utters slander is a fool.
When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;
the heart of the wicked is of little worth. (Verses 18-20)
It makes me consider what and how much I say. Am I using my words to show love and compassion? Or do my words show hatred and contempt? Am I honoring God by what I say? Or am I using His name lightly or as a swear word? Are my words bringing life and hope to others? Or am I injuring them with my words?
Proverbs 10 tells us the results of our choices, whether we choose to follow God or do evil.
The way of the Lord is a stronghold to the blameless,
but destruction to evildoers.
The righteous will never be removed,
but the wicked will not dwell in the land.
The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
but the perverse tongue will be cut off. (Verses 29-31)
There is a reward for those who put their trust in the Lord. Revelation 21 and 22 tell us about a beautiful city–the New Jerusalem, the Tree of Life and a God who will live with His people!
Choosing the way of the Lord seems like the wisest choice to me!