Proverbs 10

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As we begin a new year, we’ll be studying the book of Proverbs for the first 31 days of the year. The new year is a great opportunity to invite your friends, families, and Life Groups to read along with you in 2023. If you missed the first day’s reading or are looking for an overview of the book, click here to catch up!

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Read Proverbs 10

Proverbs of Solomon

10 The proverbs of Solomon:

A wise son brings joy to his father,
    but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.

Ill-gotten treasures have no lasting value,
    but righteousness delivers from death.

The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry,
    but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.

Lazy hands make for poverty,
    but diligent hands bring wealth.

He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son,
    but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.

Blessings crown the head of the righteous,
    but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.

The name of the righteous is used in blessings,
    but the name of the wicked will rot.

The wise in heart accept commands,
    but a chattering fool comes to ruin.

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
    but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.

10 Whoever winks maliciously causes grief,
    and a chattering fool comes to ruin.

11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
    but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

12 Hatred stirs up conflict,
    but love covers over all wrongs.

13 Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning,
    but a rod is for the back of one who has no sense.

14 The wise store up knowledge,
    but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.

15 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city,
    but poverty is the ruin of the poor.

16 The wages of the righteous is life,
    but the earnings of the wicked are sin and death.

17 Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life,
    but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.

18 Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips
    and spreads slander is a fool.

19 Sin is not ended by multiplying words,
    but the prudent hold their tongues.

20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver,
    but the heart of the wicked is of little value.

21 The lips of the righteous nourish many,
    but fools die for lack of sense.

22 The blessing of the Lord brings wealth,
    without painful toil for it.

23 A fool finds pleasure in wicked schemes,
    but a person of understanding delights in wisdom.

24 What the wicked dread will overtake them;
    what the righteous desire will be granted.

25 When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone,
    but the righteous stand firm forever.

26 As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
    so are sluggards to those who send them.

27 The fear of the Lord adds length to life,
    but the years of the wicked are cut short.

28 The prospect of the righteous is joy,
    but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.

29 The way of the Lord is a refuge for the blameless,
    but it is the ruin of those who do evil.

30 The righteous will never be uprooted,
    but the wicked will not remain in the land.

31 From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom,
    but a perverse tongue will be silenced.

32 The lips of the righteous know what finds favor,
    but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.

Go Deeper

The first nine chapters of Proverbs serve as an introduction to the book detailing the precepts and value of wisdom. This chapter starts a new section of the book, beginning the collection of Solomon’s proverbs. He addresses a wide-range of topics in the form of single verse sayings that deal with issues in our everyday lives. There is a disjointed organization in this chapter, with each proverb jumping around from one topic to the next. Solomon gives contrasts between the righteous and the wicked, the wise and the foolish, and the diligent and the idle. We are going to focus today specifically on the proverbs concerning our words. 

The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about our words and is filled with great wisdom regarding how we are to speak. Our words and the words of others have incredible power. Proverbs 18:21 says that the tongue can bring life or death. It can encourage or discourage. It can build up or tear down. There are numerous ways that this chapter describes the tongue. For the wise, the tongue is depicted as a fountain of life (v. 11), choice silver (v. 20), and a place where knowledge is stored (v. 14). For the foolish, the tongue is depicted as something that conceals violence (v. 11), spreads slander (v. 18), and invites ruin (v. 14). What comes out of our mouth is evidence of either our wisdom or our foolishness. 

Many of us remember words that have been spoken over us. Either words that have lifted us up, or words that have torn us down. Some of the greatest hurts we might have felt are from the words of others. Words impact people. We get the opportunity as believers to speak words of life over those around us. Words that are kind. Words that are sweet. Words that are healing. Proverbs 16:24 says that “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” We can bring healing and sweetness to the souls of people simply through the words we use. Ephesians 4:29 tells us that we are not to let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. The words of the wise build up and benefit others.

Don’t neglect the small opportunities to encourage others with your words. Tell people that they matter, that they are valuable, and that their life has incredible purpose. Remind people that they are not alone, that the Lord is with them, and that you believe in them. Encourage people that they are made in the image of God, that they are beautiful, and that they are deeply loved. Speak the good news over people, that God loved them so much that He sent His son to die for them. Lets build one another up with our words and spur one another on towards love and good deeds.


  1. When is a time where someone’s words have had a deep impact on you? 
  2. How can you intentionally use your words to build others up today? 
  3. Is there a verse in this chapter that stands out to you? 

By the Way

Jesus gives us a sobering message regarding our words in Matthew 12:36-37. This article goes more in depth into what Jesus is saying in that passage.

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3 thoughts on “Proverbs 10”

  1. As I read through the verses of chapter 10, names came to mind of loved ones who faithfully model/modeled godly wisdom. These examples have shaped and changed my life in the best of ways. Everyday, we’re given 24 hours of opportunities to grow in righteousness, serve others and be about kingdom business. It’s a gift to be on mission with Christ and fulfill his great Commission of making disciples worldwide. To do so means we submit to his authority and accept each opportunity as an assignment to grow in wisdom and follow him. I have decided to follow Jesus, how about you?

  2. Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me. What a wrong wrong wrong saying!!! Words are THE most impactful way to express yourself. Once those words flow out of your mouth they are never able to be retracted. The word chattering fool and multiplying words stuck out to me today. These chattering people cant control their speech, or their temper so they cause problems. vs 21 The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of sense. Fools are prideful, create problems, bring sorrow, (especially for their parents), waste money, and are not responsible. Back to Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Prov18:21The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. James 3:9 9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. So be careful and slow your chattering words. Think life about people not death.

    God thank You for helping me guard my mouth today and everyday!!!! Thank You for Your words of life coming out when I do speak and that I speak to You first and Your Holy Spirit then helps me with those words. God thank You for a particular situation in our household now today at this moment. Give me those love goggles and a voice megaphone from You. I dont know what or how to handle this but I am asking for help in this time of need for guidance for my household. God I give you the glory, honor and rejoicing for every detail of this situation. I am trusting You to go before, around, behind and in the all in betweens. Thank You for Hesed love, unfailing, faithful, steadfast, loyal, covent, undeserved, reliable, complete, kind, generous, abounding overflowing, compassionate, essential to my life LOVE in Jesus name amen.

  3. Proverbs 10 (NLT)
    11) The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain… 13) Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding… 20) The words of the godly are like sterling silver… 21) The words of the godly encourage many… 31) The mouth of the godly person gives wise advice… 32) The lips of the godly speak helpful words…

    Our words have impact.

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