At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: But the tongue of the wise is health (KJV).Proverbs 12:8
There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health (NKJV).
There are those who do enormous damage in how they speak—they hack, and thrust, and hew. If someone calls them on it, they will often appeal to another proverb, saying that faithful are the wounds of a friend (Prov. 27:6).
And yes, a surgeon cuts someone open, and does so with the well-being of the patient in mind. That is quite true. But it does not follow that anyone who successfully draws blood can consider himself a surgeon. There is more to medical training than that.
You tell the difference between these two kinds of tongues—the piercing tongue and the healing tongue—from the manifest results. After the slashing of the one, there is blood everywhere. And after the wise man speaks, there is health and flourishing.
When the fool causes mayhem by his speaking, he often doesn’t know the damage he has done because he doesn’t stick around to find out. He says his piece, and is gone. He is frequently able to do this because he is in a position of authority, and the place where the damage is done is a place occupied by people under his authority. If they say something, it seems to them that they might be inviting more of the same. This is why people can live together for years without having any idea of how many wounds their words have caused.
Such a person could say that “he didn’t know,” and it might be true enough that he didn’t see with his eyes, and that his victims never spoke up. He can say, with faux innocence, that “nobody ever said anything.” That might be true, but if you bite your kid’s head off for messing with his food, what might you do if your kid confronted you for being a vile human being? Think about it for a couple minutes. Don’t wait for your kid or your wife or your husband to tell you. Let Proverbs 12:18 tell you.
One of the apostle Paul’s complaints against the Corinthians was that they suffered fools gladly (2 Cor. 11:19). But of course, tolerating fools is simply one more way of demonstrating that you have yourself become a fool.