Proverbs 10:32

The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.

We have the popular expression today “_____ knows _____.” “Bo knows music.” “Julia knows food.” “Michael knows basketball.” It means that the person credited doesn’t merely know about a subject, but that he knows it, or performs it, so well that he becomes identified with it. He is “at one with it.” He doesn’t have to think about what to do because it has become an instinct for him.

So with the righteous and the wicked. The righteous know what is acceptable. It is natural for them to speak what is good and right. They know the right thing to say at the time needed. The wicked know what is perverse. They naturally make a joke of what is good and sacred. They instinctively put down others, especially those who are good.

Examine yourself in this matter. In the course of a day, do you find people encouraged by your speech? Do they walk away more thoughtful? Or do you find that for various reasons they seem to be sensitive to what you say? If the latter, then something is wrong inside, and you need to address it. You can read books on how to speak, but if the heart is not addressed, saying “right” words will only have the wrong effect. If your heart has resentment, disappointment, pride, vanity, and the like, such attitudes will come out. Get to the heart of the matter, which is your heart.

© 2024 Tenth Presbyterian Church.

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in its entirety or in unaltered excerpts, as long as you do not charge a fee. For Internet posting, please use only unaltered excerpts (not the content in its entirety) and provide a hyperlink to this page, or embed the entire material hosted on Tenth channels. You may not re-upload the material in its entirety. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Tenth Presbyterian Church.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2024 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: