Study from God’s Word…Many Proverbs listed in The Daily Bible in Chronological Order from Proverbs 10, 11, 12, 13,14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, and 21, ordered by topics by the Editor, including Wise/Foolish Talk, Righteous/Wicked talk, Appropriate Speech, Maintaining Silence, Controlled Speech, Flattery, Slander/Gossip, Hurtful Speech, Quarreling, Lying, and the Power of the Tongue …Passage for Reflection: Proverbs 27: 14 … NIV If a man loudly blesses his neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse. … Proverbs 25: 11 … A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
My Journal for Today: Today, Dr. Smith took me (and his readers) through a series of Proverbs dealing with the effect of rightly as opposed to wrongly applied speech. And any time I read or review these Proverbs, two NT passages bubble up into my consciousness and they are the writings of James in James 3: 1 – 12 and Paul’s wise words in Ephesians 4: 29. I have provided links for you to go back and review these passages. You may know them; but if not, I would suggest you review them before going on to read what God is giving me to write in my blog/journal this morning this about the Proverbs F. LaGard Smith had me review today, especially the highlighted verses.
Words are powerful; and when they are directed in a God-led manner or to be expressions of His grace or His love, they can prove incredibly powerful for our God’s glory. However, the opposite side of that coin is true as well. When we do not conform to the exhortation of Paul in Eph. 4: 29; and corrupt communication proceeds from our minds and mouths, great harm can take place. That is the message James put forth in Chapter 3 of the book written by him … that the tongue is such a small, but potent, organ of the body, … capable of poisoning the waters of life, misdirecting the course of our ships of life, and being the match which sets fires to vast numbers of living trees. Three different word pictures; but all reinforced by most of the Proverbs Solomon wrote to give his readers the message that what we say and when we say it being so very important in our lives.
The focus verses today are also very truth serving. We can say one thing at one time or in one context where the same words will have vastly different meanings if spoken at another time or context in someone’s life. And I know you’ve experienced the scenario of speaking words, which, when taken out of context can create a fire-storm which you didn’t intend to set. Don’t you just know not to say exciting things early in the morning to a person who is not a “morning person?” Being a morning person myself and my wife NOT being so, I learned a long time ago, not to bring exciting observations (in my estimation) to her attention until the cobwebs had been cleared and it was later in her morning. And most certainly I’ve experienced the scenario of a person misunderstanding my words because that person took what I said out of context. When we say certain things can be just as important as what we say.
Most certainly the admonition of Paul in Philippians 2: 3-4 is absolutely true [linked for you here]; and we should consider the feelings and positions of others before our own. However, when we are communicating to others, we need to realize that the understanding of what we say may be drastically altered by when we say it and how we communicate those words. I pray today that we all internalize this important lesson.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, give me discernment on how and when to say what I say … speaking only word of Your love and letting my words be expressions of Your grace. Amen