Better the poor whose walk is blameless
than a fool whose lips are perverse. Proverbs 19:1 NIV
At first glance it looks as if Solomon is comparing our perception of favored status such as poor vs a rich fool, unskilled vs gifted, uneducated vs highly trained, or simple vs a proud fool. But these are just adjectives to his primary comparison- the character of a person.
The Hebrew for blameless is one who is full of integrity, it’s also associated with part of the breastplate of a priest. In other words, when you see a breastplate you have an immediate association with a person who has a continual right standing before God. On the other hand, the improper use of the tongue (not just curse words, but words used in gossip, envy, jealousy, boastfulness, judging, worry, complaining, or straight up lies) becomes the identifying factor of a person’s character.
So…if someone just listened to the words that flow from our mouths, what would be the identifying characteristic that would be labeled on our “breastplate”? OUCH! Makes me want to talk less. Blessings, Love y’all.