Today’s scripture selection: Proverbs 4
Key verse: Proverbs 4:24
“Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk from your lips.”
It’s interesting that in the middle of a long section extolling the value of wisdom – the writer of Proverbs inserts a little advice about what comes out of our mouths, or doesn’t as the case may be.
He isn’t just talking about how we talk. He isn’t just a kindly old spinster grandmother advising us to make sure we don’t use swear words. He isn’t warning that if we do we might end up getting our mouths washed out with soap.
No, this is good, sound advice.
It’s about how what we say can heal or hurt; build or destroy. It’s about how we can, with a few well selected syllables, be instruments of grace or weapons of malice.
Words are such simple, powerful things.
- To when you were a child on the playground and you were crushed by something a so-called friend said
- To when you were a little older and you felt on the “outside” because of some gossip or slander
- To when you were still older and having to defend yourself against some accusation or lie
- To those times when you felt misunderstood; misquoted; or just plain hurt by the quick, clever turn of phrase that someone leveled at you when you were vulnerable
Think back to the times when either you experienced these painful consequences of hurtful words – or when you were a party to doing it to someone else.
Words are powerful things. So use them wisely – and kindly.
Prayer: Lord, may what I speak only help not hurt. AMEN.