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Through Wise Words

(Proverbs 15:1-4,28-31)

By Pastor David Hillis, 02.24.19

Proverbs 15:1-4,28-31

A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing, but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness. The Lord is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good. Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.

28 The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words. 29 The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayers of the righteous. 30 A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health. 31 If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.

BIG IDEA: Love listens and corrects with care, so that only fools refuse to receive it.

Accepting wise words from others.

(Proverbs 1:7,10:8,12:6,14-15,18:4; John 14:26; Proverbs 10:8(GNT))

  • Wise words from God and others are important, redirectional moments in our lives.
  • When people care and love us, one of the best ways for them to show that is through encouraging us to see other perspectives, or ways of doing things.
  • Fear often gets in the way of others sharing with us as they assume we will respond to them like fools and not want to hear the truth.

Sharing wise words with people in a way that is loving and well received.

  • Gentle and cool-tempered

(Proverbs 15:1,4,18,12:16-18,25:15; Galatians 6:1-3,5:22-23; Ephesians 4:2; James 3:17)

  • Do not be fearful or hold back and do not speak out of frustration, but always with their best interests in mind.
  • Persuasive

(Proverbs 10:19,15:2,16:21-23,17:27-28; Ecclesiastes 5:2; 2 Corinthians 5:11)

  • One of the most powerful ways is through your own story as it makes you relatable.
  • There is power in fewer words being spoken during these moments.
  • Considered carefully before spoken

(Proverbs 2:1-11,13:16,14:8,15:28,18:13,29:20; Ecclesiastes 12:10)

  • We need to think ahead on what to say and how to say it, instead of jumping into a conversation unprepared.
  • Listen carefully and validate what the person is saying, rather than focusing on how you are going to respond.
  • Constructive, building up rather than tearing down

(Proverbs 15:31,27:6,17; Zechariah 8:16; John 8:32; Ephesians 4:15-16)

  • It is important to use constructive criticism and not personally attack the individual.
  • Share observations that are concise and accurate and not based on assumptions.
  • Use words that are gentle but they are also truthful, direct and clear.


Is there anyone in your life that God wants you to love through loving words of wisdom and truth?  Pray and ask God to show you how to approach the situation gently, constructively and persuasively?


1. This week, Pastor Dave looked at Proverbs to show us how we can love others like God loves us through the power of wise words. As you read this book this week, consider how God has loved you and even used others in your life to love you through carefully shared words of wisdom in the past.

2. Spend some time this week considering how God might want to use you to love people though their own struggles. Have there been opportunities you have missed lately to love others, because you didn’t take the time or weren’t courageous enough to share with them in this way? What situations in your life right now could benefit from an expression of love like this? How will you do so?

3. Is there anyone in your life right now who you believe could share wise words with you about some aspect(s) of your life? Might you consider approaching them to ask them to meet and speak into your life?

4. This week, we will be reading Proverbs 1-22 together.

Day 1: Proverbs 1-3 (TEXT / AUDIO), or abbreviated reading Proverbs 1

Day 2: Proverbs 4-9 (TEXT / AUDIO), or abbreviated reading Proverbs 4

Day 3: Proverbs 10-13 (TEXT / AUDIO), or abbreviated reading Proverbs 10

Day 4: Proverbs 14-17 (TEXT / AUDIO), or abbreviated reading Proverbs 14-15

Day 5: Proverbs 18-22 (TEXT / AUDIO), or abbreviated reading Proverbs 18, 20

5. As you follow the reading schedule in this series Love Expressed, consider each day these two questions: 

(1) How do I see God’s desire to express love to me?

(2) How do I see God’s desire to express love through me? 

6. As you go about each day, consider praying regularly this simple prayer: “Holy Spirit, help me be more aware than ever today how your love is being expressed around me, to me and through me.”

Use this area to take notes.