A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
Do you want to be happy and successful? You can be! Here is wisdom to find fulfillment and peace in life: learn to talk better (Pr 18:21). This proverb has many figures of speech, but the lesson is simple. If you will improve your speaking, you will be blessed in many ways by God, by others, and even by your own soul (Pr 14:14). Grasp this wisdom!
Your belly here is your heart, soul, spirit, and conscience (Pr 13:25; 18:8; 20:27,30). They are fulfilled and satisfied, when you speak well (Pr 15:23). The fruit of your mouth is gracious and wise words, which is the good trait of speaking correctly (Pr 16:13; 22:11; 24:26; 25:11). You can give yourself pleasure by noble speech. Kind and good words help listeners for sure, but they also bring rewards to the speaker (Pr 12:14; 13:2).
You may also bring prosperity and success to all parts of your life by your words. David and Peter made proper speech one of the means for a blessed life (Ps 34:12-16; I Pet 3:10-12). Solomon also taught this fact in other proverbs (Pr 12:13-14; 13:2; 18:21; 22:11). What can possibly hinder you from using this simple rule for advancement!
The increase of your lips in this proverb is the improvement that you make to your speech by learning the rules of wisdom for the tongue and lips (Pr 15:28; 16:23). Solomon had much to say on this subject, and you can increase the sweetness and value of your speech by ruling your words for the glory of God and profit of man. This increase, like the fruit in the first clause, will bring blessing, honor, and riches into your life.
How many times have you later said to yourself, “Why did I say that?” If you have a conscience (all good men have strong consciences), then you have grieved for foolish or hurtful words you let escape from your mouth. It is this frustrating pain in life that you can eliminate by learning gracious speech. Solomon knew the chance of sin increased with much speaking, so he recommended fewer words (Pr 10:19; 17:27-28; Eccl 5:1-3). This saying is wise: If you cannot say anything kind and helpful, then say nothing at all.
How many times have others said, “Why did she say that?” Have you left others bleeding from the piercing of the sword in your mouth (Pr 12:18)? Your tongue is for the health and wealth of others, but you often leave them angered, grieving, or confused. Sometimes they tell you about it; most of the time they just suffer in silence. When you find out the pain and damage you have caused, it is a burden on your soul. It is your wisdom and honor to learn words that encourage and instruct others (Pr 10:20-21; 16:24).
God gave you a tongue for more than swallowing food. He named it your glory (Ps 30:12; 108:1). By proper use it can glorify God. You can be a tree of life to others by helpful and encouraging speech (Pr 15:4; Eph 4:29). The person who graciously teaches truth and wisdom to others is rare and precious (Neh 8:12; Luke 24:32; Acts 8:26-35). You can become this person by learning the book of Proverbs (Pr 1:1-4; 22:17-21).
Is it easy to change your speech habits? It is easier to train a cobra to sip milk from a bowl and purr on your lap (Jas 3:1-12). But God gave you Proverbs. Guard your speech. Cut your words in half. Think before you speak. Rule your spirit. Love graciousness. Make every word helpful and kind. Despise harshness. Hate talebearing. Purify your thoughts. Reject foolish indiscretions. Work harder at listening. Build others up.
Does your conscience grieve you when you speak foolishly? It should! It does, if you are a good man with an active conscience. But what will you feel in the Day of Judgment, when you must give an account for every idle word to the Lord of glory (Matt 12:34-37)? If you wait until then, it will be too late to change your speech habits. Change them now.
No wonder Isaiah cried out in grief about his unclean speech in God’s presence (Is 6:1-7), so God forgave him just as He will you, if you repent of misusing your lips (Pr 28:13). You can have rejoicing in yourself, regardless of what others think, by good speech (Gal 6:4). You can be satisfied and filled by wise and virtuous speech. God bless your efforts.