Proverbs 22:11

ESV He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.
NIV One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend.
NASB One who loves purity of heart And whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend.
CSB The one who loves a pure heart and gracious lips--the king is his friend.
NLT Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech will have the king as a friend.
KJV He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.

What does Proverbs 22:11 mean?

Solomon (Proverbs 10:1) was a king (1 Kings 4:1) who realized the best advisors were righteous men who spoke truth. The general point of this proverb is that tactfully phrased truth gains a person ample respect (Proverbs 15:23; 16:13). This leads to the approval and trust of those in power. "Yes men," who only say what others want to hear, are rarely respected by others. Of course, some petty tyrants refuse to listen to anything but their own words coming from other people's lips (2 Timothy 4:3). Wise kings (Proverbs 11:14) listen to honest advice (Proverbs 15:31), even if it's not what they prefer to be told (Proverbs 18:17; 19:20). Solomon knew who his faithful friends were. They were men whose gracious words flowed from a pure heart.

Another lesson in this statement is the connection between spiritual purity and gracious speech. Foul, biting words reveal an evil heart, but measured, careful speech implies someone with a godly heart (Ephesians 4:29). Addressing the Pharisees, Jesus called them a "brood of vipers," and asked, "How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil" (Matthew 12:34–35). He also warned: "for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matthew 12:37).
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