Faith and Family Business: Adding Value to Communication (Proverbs 15:2)

By Bill Long on June 1, 2016

      As a leader in your family business, you have the responsibility of communicating frequently with co-workers, suppliers, an array of professionals with whom you work and, most of all, your family.  You have to know so much, and you have to be able to communicate much of what you know in a timely, accurate and clear fashion.  Failure to do so can lead, at best, to temporary confusion and, at worst , to chaos.  In a word, you need wisdom in communication.

     The Book of Proverbs spends a lot of time connecting wisdom with the way we frame our thoughts and communicate them.  Last time I emphasized a seeming paradox in Proverbs - that it is "soft" words that actually "break bones" (i.e., are powerful - Proverbs 25:18).  Today I mention another thought about communication according to Proverbs - that wise speech actually makes knowledge that we communicate more attractive.

     The verse for today allows for several translations, but most accurate are:  "The tongue of the wise makes knowledge beautiful" or "the tongue of the wise enhances knowledge" (Prov. 15:2).  The startling point here is that the person of wisdom is one who takes time to cultivate his or her words, with the result being that the knowledge you actually communicate is thereby made more beautiful.

     For Proverbs, words are our verbal "dress" or "outfit."  Just as none would go out the door without checking on how we "look," so the wise person, according to Proverbs, spends time on how we "speak."  Your good words make knowledge, and thus most of your communication, more beautiful.  It is worth spending time searching for these words.