Proverbs 18:3-4

3 When wickedness comes, so does contempt,

And with shame comes reproach.

4 The words of the mouth are deep waters,

But the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream.

 

 Contempt is not only the attitude the wicked have towards others, it is also the attitude others have towards them. The wicked flaunt injustice, and those who love justice despise them. Not only are they held in contempt by others, they have contempt for themselves. They know how crooked they are, how deceitful, how empty. Yet their pride keeps them from repentance, their cynicism keeps them from satisfaction.

 They have wandered far from the path of goodness, and do not know how to find their way back. They set themselves up for shame and reproach, but instead of softening their hearts – they are only hardened further. Contempt is the bitter fruit of wickedness; reproach the harvest sown in pride and reaped in shame. Nothing gained by wickedness is worth the consequences with which it is bound.

 “The words of the mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream.” Do you want to know the quality of a well? Take a sample from it. If the water is bitter, it is bitter all the way to the bottom. If it is pure, it is pure through and through. The same is true for the words of the mouth – they reveal the depths of the heart. A stagnant and bitter heart will show itself through corrupt speech, a clean and pure heart through patience and forgiveness.

 Wisdom is more like a rushing stream than a well. Its water is accessible and always fresh. Expose filth to the deep water of the heart, and the well will be tainted. Expose it to the stream of wisdom, and it will be washed away. The rushing stream can be harnessed to irrigate crops, to mill grain, to pressurize fountains and wash away waste. Wisdom is never stagnant; there is no limit to its potential. Use it to your benefit, ignore it to your regret.  

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