“Don’t believe everything you hear.” It was old advice from an old coach. Spoken to a young player who was both talented and naïve. It seemed that every scout promised him a scholarship or a chance to play professionally. The old coach helped him discern who could be trusted and who could not.

Far more important are the implications for life found in Proverbs 10:11–“The mouth of the righteous is a foundation of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.”

The truth is, it can be difficult to determine what is true and what is not. We can’t believe everything we hear, but we also can’t be ever skeptical of everyone.

Yet, the verse remains true: there is always something behind what anyone says.

Behind the words of the “righteous” is an entire “fountain of life.” Over time, their words are just the tip of the iceberg. The truth of their words will be backed up in caring action, generosity, and humble concern.

Likewise, the “mouth of the wicked” has more behind it. Over time, their words are proven to be hollow by their unkind actions and unfulfilled promises.

Don’t believe everything you hear. Pay attention over time to the person who says them.

Lord Jesus, make my words a fountain of life. Amen.