This morning, in my Sunday School class, we were talking about some wise sayings from Proverbs, especially regarding the tongue. We flipped around through many different verses, and though there were many amazing scriptures, I know we only touched the surface of what the Bible has to say about the way we speak to others.
Lately, I’ve been especially drawn to The Message version of the Bible, because it puts things in the lingo of today, and sometimes the surprise of the language makes my mind churn in new ways.
For example, here’s Proverbs 15:2 in the English Standard Version (ESV):
The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
And here it is in The Message:
Knowledge flows like spring water from the wise; fools are leaky faucets, dripping nonsense.
The scripture speaks in the ESV, but isn’t spring water a great picture? Have you ever taken a drink from a spring? I have. Directly from a rock. The water that pooled there was incredibly crystal clear, and the water was cold and refreshing. And no matter how much we drank, the pool kept filling up to a specific level in a never-ending process. I love that visual of the knowledge of the wise.
On the other hand, leaky and dripping faucets are irritating. They can leave mineral deposits, if they’re left dripping for long, and those deposits are difficult to remove, if at all possible. Think about nonsense dripping irritatingly all night long, and causing damage that may be irreversible. Is that what you want coming out of your mouth?
Here’s Proverbs 10:12 in the ESV:
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.
I like how that verse speaks loudly and clearly, but look at this picture in The Message:
Hatred starts fights, but love pulls a quilt over the bickering.
Quilts conjure up comfort and coziness on a cold night. Imagine bickering being squashed because love made the argument disappear under the weight of that cozy love.
It’s nice to read scripture in various versions. If you like language, you can appreciate that the Bible was originally written in several languages, and anytime you translate from one language to another, you’re going to have some variance. There can’t be a perfect 1-to-1 translation with all the same historical and cultural context. Versions give us the opportunity to see multiple options for what a particular phrase means. That’s especially why I love the Bible app with all its versions. I can easily compare word choices and it expands my comprehension of a particular passage. And maybe, in the meantime, I can fix the leak in my faucet.
DAY 324 HOMEWORK: Do you have some plumbing to do in your own life? If so, you might look for the unending spring. And, if you feel the need to fight, pull up that quilt and get cozy, and see how your relationships get better.