Proverbs 27:14

Be Sensitive


1. This is a simple proverbial thought that serves as an exhortation to us all to be sensitive towards the comfort and physical well being of others.

2. While the author mentions only one particular situation, it could be applied to countless others.

3. Being sensitive to others is part of what love is all about.

14a He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice…

1. Bless defined:

a. This is a good word; a positive word.

b. It means to bless, salute, greet, commend; invoke divine favor; praise.

2. It is not certain whether Solomon was using the term in the sense of “greeting” someone with a loud voice early in the morning, or “blessing and praising” someone with a loud voice early in the morning.

3. The main point here is not so much the content of the blessing or greeting, but the fact of it… and that it is done early in the morning.

4. It is very possible that this “blessing” was done with the best of intentions.

a. If we understand the word translated “blessing” here to mean “to praise or bless,” then the speaker obviously is doing so with good intentions.

b. He intends to say good things about his friend.

c. He does so with a loud voice – he is enthusiastic and excited.

14c It shall be counted a curse to him.

1. The point of the proverb is that regardless of the good intentions of the one who “blesses his friend”, the one sleeping will consider his blessing a curse!

a. The person may come over to “bless” his friend for a job well done, or for a recent accomplishment.

b. But if he does so early in the morning, and comes with a loud voice, the one sleeping will be irritated, not blessed.

2. For example, consider the student who stayed up into the wee hours of the morning studying for finals and is sleeping a bit late in the morning.

a. His friend may come running into the dorm room with the good news that the patriots won.

b. What he thinks is a word of blessing, his sleeping friend may hear as a curse.

3. Or consider the husband who works the night shift and came home from work and sleeps until 1:00 in the afternoon.

a. The wife may be downstairs doing the dishes and cooking—thinking she is blessing her husband.

b. But the loud noise of pots and pans clanging may well be interpreted as a curse!

4. Solomon’s point about human nature is that it is very common for us to be insensitive towards others.

a. It is easy for us to come barging into a scene all full of enthusiasm and with a loud voice—without even considering how this will be perceived by others.

5. And of course, the principle here could be applied to situations other than one who is sleeping.

a. We should be sensitive to the feelings of others too.

b. Loud, cheerful, enthusiastic words of blessing may not be received well by a person who just lost a loved one.

c. Loud, zealous cheers that your candidate won may not set well with someone whose candidate just lost.

d. Someone who has the flu may not appreciate a loud visitor who came with the best of intentions. The loud voice of blessing may give that person a headache.

e. Someone who is going through a period of depression may not appreciate the one who tries to cheer him up by means of loud, bubbly, over the top cheerfulness.

f. Applications are limitless. The point is that we should be sensitive to the circumstances and feelings of others.

g. This kind of sensitivity is easily achieved by following the old familiar proverb: put yourself in the other person’s shoes… or trying walking in his moccasins.

6. In Proverbs 27:14, it does not seem like the person described in this proverb is trying to be irritating.

a. Rather, it appears to be an issue of a lack of thoughtfulness.

b. Blessing one’s neighbor is good; but not early in the morning when they are trying to sleep.

c. He may have good intentions; he may have intended to BLESS.

d. But the end result of his good intentions is that they were perceived to be a CURSE (invocation of divine harm; reproach; taunt; hissing; speaking ill-will against another).

e. Intentions of being a blessing do not always translate into actually BEING a blessing to others.

f. Be sure that the blessing is wanted.

7. The blessing being turned into a curse in this proverb was the result of poor timing.

a. The loud voice of blessing may have been appreciated a little later in the day—but not first thing in the morning!

b. They were good words; but bad timing.

c. Prov. 15:23 – “a word spoken in due season, how good is it!”

d. A blessing spoken at the right time is so good. But those very same words of blessing spoken at the wrong time come across like a curse… insensitive, loud, inconsiderate stinging speech.

e. Timing matters. It is a matter of being sensitive to circumstances and timing.

f. Ecc. 3:1,7 – There is a time for everything under heaven. There is a right time and a wrong time.

8. In addition to the poor timing, some see in this proverb an expression of insincerity.

a. The loud voice is viewed as being loud, extravagant, and overly flowery in one’s praise for someone.

b. They see insincerity in the fact that the person begins his praise first thing in the morning—and evidently, continues with his flowery over the top praise all day long.

c. That being the case, then this would also be a warning against such praise.
• Don’t offer that kind of showy, loud, extravagant praise to others.
• And don’t be deceived if you are the recipient of it.
• Their blessing is deceitful and will eventually turn into a curse.
• Exaggerated praise should be considered a curse.
• Prov. 26:24-25 – Don’t believe the phony, fair speech of those who flatter profusely. They are usually up to no good.