23 The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent,
and their lips promote instruction.
24 Gracious words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
25 There is a way that appears to be right,
but in the end it leads to death.
The way to cultivate virtue is to focus on the heart, because “everything you do flows from it.” Do you want to know what’s in your heart? Pay attention to what comes out of your mouth. This will reveal opportunities for growth, as well as the issues that need to be dealt with. Credibility depends not on the words used but on the character behind them, the best way to learn how to guide others is by first learning to guide yourself.
“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul healing to the bones.” To humble oneself and extend grace is often the most difficult thing to do, and as such it is a demonstration of greatness. It is also the cure to the bitterness of unmet expectations, and the envy which “rots the bones.” Judgment stifles a relationship, while grace brings healing and joy.
“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” Proverbs advises us to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding,” and here we are given a reason why. Have you ever been certain of something, only to be proven wrong? Skepticism is often most useful when applied to oneself, as the one who cannot see his own error confidently marches down the path of disaster. Only the Lord knows “the end from the beginning,” his commands may seem silly but they save us from death.