Wisdom for each day:
Monday: more words do not excuse sin.
Proverbs 10:19 “Sin is not ended by multiplying words,
but the prudent hold their tongues.”
I grew up with the saying “an excuse is the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie.” It seems to me that this saying encapsulates what this proverb is teaching us. The truth is that sin is sin and there is no way of reasoning our way out of it no matter how many words we use. It serves us and our relationships better if instead of trying to justify our behavior through excuses we instead, own our sin, confess it and seek forgiveness. This is the way of the wise.
Tuesday: our words can either pierce or heal.
Proverbs 12:18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.Our words are incredibly powerful. Perhaps we underestimate this reality but this proverb makes the observation that our words have the power to bring healing whilest at the same time our words can be loaded weapons set to destroy. Perhaps we are unthinking at times about the power of our words but maybe today you could be intentional to speak words of healing to someone who needs it.
Wednesday : The wise hold their tongues.
Proverbs 17:28 Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.
There is a lot to be said for remaining silent. As the writer of proverbs describes that even a fool can have the appearance of being wise if he just refrains from speaking. But it is the discerning who have learnt that holding one’s tongue is more often than not the best course of action. Holding one’s tongue may help us not to say things we don’t mean in the heat of emotion, it may prevent us from saying things before we have the full picture.
Thursday: Gracious words.
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones
The writer of proverbs makes the startling claim that words spoken that are full of grace not only bring sweetness to the inner life of an individual but they also impact the physical being of an individual. And it is Often our experience that when we find ourselves stressed or broken because of words spoken to us that it not only affects us internally, but the distress is also experience within our very physical being. We may experience sleeplessness, headaches, tension within our body. So let us think how we can bring gracious words to others, words that will uplift, words that will encourage, words that will liberate and champion others because our words deeply impact others.
Friday: A gentle answer.Proverbs 15:1
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Paul writes in Phil 4:5 “let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” When we are gentle we are imitating our Great God who has been gentle and kind to us. He has every right to speak a harsh word to us when we rebel against Him but instead he gently beckons us home through Christ’s death and resurrection. In the same way when we encounter people whose hearts are raging within them because of pain and hurt our gentleness towards them will begin to minister to the inner pain. So may God teach us when we are in the midst of conflict to be gentle and to be kind for we have been the recipients of incredible gentleness.
Saturday: Gossip goes deep.
The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.
Gossip is one way in which we use the tongue that has deep affects. Gossip includes anything we say that we don’t want another person to overhear. It might include passing on confidences that are not ours to pass on or judgements that are not ours to have. Perhaps the nature of the gossip makes us feel better about ourselves or feel as though we are part of an in crowd. But gossip is not pleasing to the lord because it brings hurt, disunity, confusion and isolation. So if we find ourselves speaking in hushed tones, or avoiding conflict by speaking to others our frustration then we need to stop. Gossip is just sin and it hurts God’s heart because it hurts His creation.