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Proverbs 18

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 1 By a man willfully separating himself [from God], he seeks his own desires, rebelling against wise judgment.

 2 A fool has no delight in understanding, only that his heart may reveal its opinions.

 3 With wickedness comes contempt, and without integrity shame will [eventually] result.

 4 The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.

 5 It is not good to respect the wicked person, or to deprive the righteous of justice.

 6 A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth invites destruction.

 7 A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.

 8 The words of a slanderer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of his body.

 9 He who is slothful in his work is brother to him who is a great destroyer.

 10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous flee into it and are safe.

 11 The rich man's wealth is like his fortressed city, and like a high wall, in his own conceit.

 12 Before being broken, the heart of man is haughty; and before honor is humility.

 13 He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is as folly and shame to him.

 14 The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity, but who can bear up one with a wounded spirit?

 15 The heart of the prudent gets knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

 16 A man's gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.

 17 He who is first to state his cause seems right, until he is questioned by the other party.

 18 Casting the lot causes contentions to cease, and parts between the mighty.

 19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city; and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.

 20 A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.

 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it shall eat its fruit.1

 22 Whoever finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor of the LORD.

 23 The poor makes humble requests, but the rich answers harshly.

 24 A man who has many friends will betray friendship, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.2


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1 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it shall eat its fruit. Those who love to talk will never see salvation; the fruit of a tongue that roams is death.

Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it can boast of great things. Consider how great a forest a little fire kindles!
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. It is set among our members, defiling the whole body, and setting on fire the course of our life; and it is set on fire by hell.
For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by mankind.
But no man can tame the tongue, it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
[Only the grace of God can tame a man's tongue.] James 3:5-8.

If any man among you seems to be religious but cannot control his tongue, he deceives his own heart [thinking to be religious], and this man's religion is of no value. James 1:26.

But I say to you, For every idle word that men speak, they will give an account of the same in the day of judgment.
For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. Mat 12:36-37
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For we all err in many things; and if any man does not err in his words, he is a perfect man, James 3:2.
So if you are going to be condemned for speaking idle words, and if you cannot control your words until you are perfect,
then perfection is obviously required to be justified.

Even a fool, when he doesn't speak, is considered wise; and he who shuts his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. Pro 17:28.

A fool utters all his mind, but a wise man keeps it in until afterwards. Pro 29:11.

In the multitude of words there is no lack of sin; but he that refrains his lips is wise. Pro 10:19.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it shall eat its fruit. Pro 18:21.

2 There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. That friend is Christ the Light and Word, who is in every man's heart, and who is all our life gently pleading with us to do the right thing, who pangs our conscience when we fail; who is eager to teach us, eager to help us see the right way to life, eager to give us wisdom and understanding; and eager to share his divine nature with us, providing we listen to him and obey him.

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