Mind Your Language
Lord, You spoke and the worlds were created. Help me to be mindful and speak only life.
Read Proverbs 17:1-28
 Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.  A prudent servant will rule over a disgraceful son and will share the inheritance as one of the family.  The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart.  A wicked person listens to deceitful lips; a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue.  Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.  Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.  Eloquent lips are unsuited to a godless fool- how much worse lying lips to a ruler!  A bribe is seen as a charm by the one who gives it; they think success will come at every turn.  Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.  A rebuke impresses a discerning person more than a hundred lashes a fool.  Evildoers foster rebellion against God; the messenger of death will be sent against them.  Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than a fool bent on folly.  Evil will never leave the house of one who pays back evil for good.  Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.  Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent- the LORD detests them both.  Why should fools have money in hand to buy wisdom, when they are not able to understand it?  A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.  One who has no sense shakes hands in pledge and puts up security for a neighbor.  Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin; whoever builds a high gate invites destruction.  One whose heart is corrupt does not prosper; one whose tongue is perverse falls into trouble.  To have a fool for a child brings grief; there is no joy for the parent of a godless fool.  A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.  The wicked accept bribes in secret to pervert the course of justice.  A discerning person keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.  A foolish son brings grief to his father and bitterness to the mother who bore him.  If imposing a fine on the innocent is not good, surely to flog honest officials is not right.  The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.  Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow powerful do you consider the words you speak?
Whoever said, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me” clearly had never read Proverbs! This Bible book has a great deal to say about the use of the tongue, which “has the power of life and death” (18:21).Words are incredibly powerful tools. They can wound and destroy others (4,5,7). Quarreling, lies, and a loose tongue (14,19,20) are often at the root of interpersonal conflict. Then grief is introduced into the family circle (21,25) and other relationships sour (5,13,26). In contrast, kind words can lubricate relationships (9,14). Usually they are spoken by wise, even-keeled people (27), real friends whose words are helpful and loving, even when we need rebuking (10,17). Some people need a language school, learning to speak fewer but wiser words–kinder, less critical ones. Remember the one who bears the title “the Word”? During his ministry, people were amazed at his “gracious words” (Luke 4:22). In death, he prayed, “Father, forgive” (Luke 23:34). His “wonderful words of life” bring salvation to the world.
Ponder verse 28: “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent.” Ask God to help you use words sparingly.
Father in heaven, let me speak words of life, blessing, and healing. Let me speak Your words.
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