FOLLOWING IS WRITTEN BY: BILL CROWDER (FOR: Our Daily Bread 6/3/12)
When my wife and I were visiting a church for a special musical program, we arrived early to get a good seat. Before the program began, we overheard two members seated behind us complaining about their church. They criticized the pastoral staff, leadership, music, ministry priorities, and several other things that made them unhappy. They were either unconcerned about or oblivious to the presence of two visitors in their midst.
It occurred to me that their unfortunate conversation could have pushed us away if we were there looking for a new church home. Worse, what if we were seeking God and their disgruntled opinions had driven us away? Their careless speech was not just a matter of the words they used or attitudes they displayed, it also demonstrated their lack of concern for the impact those words could have on others.
A better approach to the use of words is reflected in Proverbs 17:27, where Solomon said, “He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.” Most often, we would do better not to say all we think or know (or think we know), but instead seek to use words that promote calm and peace. You never know who may be listening.
Lord, I need Your help that I might control
my thoughts and words today. I want to be a
blessing to others, to lift them up that they might
see Your goodness. Amen.
Discretion of speech is better than eloquence with words.
READ: James 3:1-12
3:1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
3 Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.