Be Caring With Your Words
Gracious Lord, You know I need Your Word to guide my life today and every day. May it truly be so.
Read ECCLESIASTES 5:1-7
 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.  Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.  A dream comes when there are many cares, and many words mark the speech of a fool.  When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow.  It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.  Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands?  Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat good advice is this writer offering us?
My speech is really slow and distorted. When I speak from the front at church, people understand me most of the time because they are used to me. My helper holds the microphone and I put a summary of what I’m saying on the screen. My main communication problem, however, is simply choosing my words.
Ecclesiastes seems a strange book to include in the Bible. Like Job, it belongs in the Wisdom literature and is not read very often. It is the work of a depressed person, possibly an aged King Solomon. In his cry, “Everything is meaningless” (1:2) there is a yearning for Jesus. Keep looking out for this in Job’s words. We have seen how Eliphaz chose the wrong words; they could have been right words, if they had been spoken appropriately. Instead of helping Job, these words increased his anguish. Eliphaz lacked the caring sensitivity offered us by the Holy Spirit. We need the Spirit’s help to stop us being too quick with our mouths and too hasty in our hearts (2,4-7). Eliphaz was also quite proud of his dream (Job 4:12-21). Verse 3 reminds us to take care when we share our experiences.
“Words are the overflowing of the heart” (Luke 6:45, NEB). Ponder this as you think of the people you’ll meet today.
Lord, I pray that the words I use today will be wisely chosen, guided by Your Holy Spirit and used for good.
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