Let’s take a look at the following verse from the tenth chapter of Proverbs.
The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth. – Proverbs 10:20
When we look at this verse, it is important for us to remember that there is a comparison/contrast being made. An “opposite parallelism” is being used to make a point that one thing is valuable, while another is worthless.
In this case, it is easy to notice that Solomon is contrasting “the tongue of the just” with “the heart of the wicked.” The tongue of the just person (the words that he speaks) is something beautiful and of great value, while the wicked man’s heart is just the opposite. But if we were to look a little deeper, there is more than meets the eye, or first impressions.
What is really being contrasted are the hearts of both the wicked and the just. You see, what comes out of a person’s mouth is directly related to what’s in his heart. Proverbs 16:23 says, “The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.” In the book of James (3:11) we read, “Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?”
Essentially, you can tell what is in a person’s heart by what comes out of his mouth. Jesus said, “It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.” – Matthew 15:11 (NLT)
Do you like to tell dirty jokes? Then there must be lust in your heart. Do you always talk hateful? Then there is hatred (and maybe murder – see Matthew 5:21-22) in your heart.
Do you ever talk about God? About Jesus? About your love for Him? If not, maybe He’s not in there.
Do you realize that your heart is on display? No, I don’t mean that your chest cavity is transparent, nor do I mean that everyone can see your bloody, beating heart muscle. That’s sick!
What I do mean to say is that there is no hiding what is in your heart; because your words, the words from your mouth, tell the whole story.
Maybe we should listen to ourselves. Maybe we should ask others to tell us what they hear. Maybe we should be like King David and pray this prayer…
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”– Psalm 19:14
The above commentary was first published in my other blog, Proverbial Thought. It can also be found in Proverbial Thought: Your Daily Word of Wisdom from Proverbs (Parson’s Porch, 2014).