Archive for January, 2013
Proverbs 15:1–15: – 1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.
3 The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.
4 The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.
5 A fool spurns a parent’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.
6 The house of the righteous contains great treasure, but the income of the wicked brings ruin.
7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not upright.
8 The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.
9 The Lord detests the way of the wicked, but he loves those who pursue righteousness.
10 Stern discipline awaits anyone who leaves the path; the one who hates correction will die.
11 Death and Destruction lie open before the Lord, how much more do human hearts!
12 Mockers resent correction, so they avoid the wise.
13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.
14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.
15 All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.
Psalm 34:13–14: – 13 keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
James 3:1–12: – 1 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.
4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.
5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.
6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind,
8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.
10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.
11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?
12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
The ability to master our mouths, watch our words and tame our tongues demonstrates a level of spiritual and emotional maturity. The opposite is true as well. An inability to control our speech shows immaturity, and it can inflict great harm on our relationships.
Solomon addresses the importance of controlling our words by contrasting positive and negative speech. In each case, the effects end up as opposites: peacefulness or wrath, knowledge or folly, healing or a crushed spirit. In other words, when we fail to control our tongue, we don’t just fail to give, or be, a blessing. We also cause a wound that can rupture a relationship.
Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author of Words That Hurt, Words That Heal, states that he asks audiences whether they can go 24 hours without saying any unkind words about or to anyone. Invariably, a few people answer “yes,” but most call out “no!” He responds, “Those who can’t answer ‘yes’ have a serious problem. If you can’t go 24 hours without drinking liquor, you’re addicted to alcohol. If you can’t last 24 hours without smoking, you’re addicted to nicotine. And if you can’t make it 24 hours without saying unkind words about others, you’ve lost control of your tongue.”
How can you tell whether your tongue is under control? You won’t say anything about an individual that you can’t say directly to that person. You resist the urge to exaggerate. You consciously examine your thoughts and remove gossip and rumors from your conversations. You keep in confidence a personal matter that someone else shares with you. Further, you learn to speak positive words. Appropriate words communicate affirmation, comfort and healing.
When was the last time you said something to another person that you instantly regretted? Maybe it was something intended as a joke that was instead taken as an offense, or perhaps it was a sharp word spoken in anger that you wish you could have taken back. Think of a specific situation, and then challenge yourself to rectify the hurt. While you may not be able to take back the words themselves, you can humbly submit yourself to that person and begin to rebuild the relationship.
This is one of the miracles of love: It gives a power of seeing through its own enchantments and yet not being disenchanted.
Dear Father, thank you for your truth which sets me free today. It is my delight to do your will and help others succeed. Show me ways to be a blessing and help others. Let everything I do bring glory to you.
In Jesus’ Name
Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss, and ends with a teardrop.
Dear Father, thank you for giving me so much. Thank you for blessing me with talents and abilities and the desire to bless others. Show me ways to reach out and help others move forward and help them be successful so we can all rise higher together.
In Jesus’ Name