I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Our Words Part II

Pro 17:27 He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.

Interesting, this verse here. When I think of someone with knowledge, I think of a person who could wax eloquent on any number of subjects. A true Jeopardy champion, if you will. Many times we esteem those who are smooth of speech, but we don’t take the time to analyze what they’re saying.

I’ll let you think of your own examples for that.

But the Bible says that a person with knowledge spares their words. Makes them few. Doesn’t let thoughts tumble, unrestrained, from their lips. They are counted wise because they don’t just react in the moment, they think first.

Proverbs 17:28 “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.”

Surely you’ve been witness to conversations where a person has put their foot in their mouth, and instead of shutting up and letting it go, they keep trying to explain away their statement, and in the end they come out looking worse than if they had just said nothing. (Like the two monsters in Monsters, Inc. “You’re just making it worse!!”)

The above verse says that even a fool (there’s hope for me yet!) is counted wise when he restrains his speech. At times we all say foolish things. We let our emotions or pride get in the way of common sense, and before we know it we’ve said something to regret.

Psalm 141:3 “Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.”

This is the only way I have found to ensure I don’t speak out of turn. Asking the Lord to guard my tongue has proven to be most helpful. Because when I ask Him to help me, I am much more aware of what is coming out. His Spirit reminds me of His promise to help, and I check myself more regularly- because I remember that I asked God to step in.
Our pastor in America preached a message a long time ago and gave us this little acrostic to remind us to think before we speak.

T- Is what I will say true? We must be careful not to let even a shred of untruth invade our speech.
H- Is what I will say helpful? Are we talking to just fill up space, or are we saying something useful?
I- Is it important? Can this statement wait until later, or must I say it right now?
N- Is it necessary? Do they really need to know this, or am I gossiping?
K- Is it kind? Will what I say hurt another, or detract from their character?

Many times we have things to say that add nothing to a conversation, and are really unnecessary. Think of it like this:

There’s a new single lady at church, (her name is Mary) and she makes a comment to Laura that Bob was really helpful in getting her plugged in to the singles ministry. Mary says a few more kinds words about Bob, and Laura get a little antsy. Mary doesn’t seem like she’s attracted to him, she’s just thankful he was there and willing to help her. She knows him as a nice guy.

But Laura knows Bob’s a recovering alcoholic, (even though he’s been dry for four years) and his first marriage (before he was saved) ended because he had an affair. She feels a pressing need right then and there to warn her about it, lest Mary and Bob suddenly decide to get married and her be in the dark about it. So Laura spits out her knowledge, and poisons Mary’s perception about Bob. Now Mary questions just why he was so helpful in the first place.

If, in the above scenario, Laura had stopped to THINK before she spoke, what would have been the result? While the information about his past was true, it wasn’t helpful, important, necessary, or kind. It damaged the way Mary would look at Bob from now on, and it wasn’t a fair thing to do. Just because we know something doesn’t mean we have to share it.

Many times it makes us feel important to share knowledge we have about others, even if it hurts their character. Bob had probably worked very hard to leave his past in the past, and let Christ guide his life. One thoughtless statement by one person can ruin the years of hard work of another.

I’m sure you get the point. I am working harder these days to watch my speech. I have seen some bad habits forming in my kids that can only have come from my example, and with the Lord’s help that is slowly changing. It’s hard. It’s painful. But it’s so worth the effort.

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