An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise brings healing.
and, quite boldly:
The tongue has the power of life and death.
For more than two thousand years, The Book of Proverbs, which is part of the Hebrew Bible, has provided guidance for people. Warren Baldwin, who is a minister, brings the wisdom and meaning of the proverbs into the present day and discusses marriage, sexual temptation, parenting, work, money, friendship, anger, jealousy, the power of words, and much more in his book. Each chapter presents a proverb followed by a short essay in which the author uses examples from his own observations and life to illustrate the significance of the proverb. In a style that's not "too preachy" (pardon the pun) but is down-to-earth, friendly, and easy to comprehend, the author provides entertaining anecdotes, and practical teachings--like that in The Book of Proverbs itself. I'm sure I will refer to Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks often, because it's brimming with valuable advice and timeless wisdom.
This book got me thinking about several things. Mostly, I wanted a bit of background about The Book of Proverbs, quickly obtained from a Google search. Who wrote The Proverbs, anyway? The authorship of The Proverbs has long been a matter of dispute, but this collection of pithy, wise sayings is generally credited to Israel's King Solomon (his name appears in Proverbs 1:1), though many biblical scholars believe several authors contributed to this collection. The Book of Proverbs is classified as wisdom literature, a genre which includes Job and Ecclesiastes, other wisdom books. I also discovered something else quite interesting during my online search: in Proverbs, the word "wisdom" is pictured as a woman, who was with God at the time of creation (8:22-31), and who invites us to "live according to good sense and sound judgment" (8:1-9:6). Amen to that!
Special thanks to Warren Baldwin for sending me an autographed copy of his book, which I won on Family Fountain, one of his blogs.