Being “circumspect” about my life is digging beneath the surface of my heart to see what lies beneath and one area definitely included in this review is what has been coming out of my mouth. In fact the Lord translated James 1:26 to me as follows:
“If anyone considers herself religious and yet does not have a tight rein on her tongue, she deceives herself and her religion is worthless.”
We already know that I discovered what a poor listener I am, so I immediately knew God was speaking to me about my tongue. He followed it up with Prov 21:23…
She who GUARDS her mouth and her tongue, keeps herself from CALAMITY.
To ‘guard’ something is to supervise the entry and exit in order to ensure the safety and integrity of something. In this case, my mouth and anyone I speak to. A ‘calamity’ is a disaster, an event that brings with it such terrible loss, lasting distress and severe affliction that it is to be avoided. A calamity is usually unnecessary and often unforeseen trouble.
Finally the Lord pointed out Prov 10:19-20
When words are many, sin is not absent. But she who holds her tongue is wise. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver…
I want a wise tongue and it seems that when words are many, the likelihood of sin increases in my life. Whereas wise people seem to be people of few words who control their tongue. What they do have to say is considered particularly precious.
People with many words sympathise with our feelings but don’t emphasise the truth. They tell us what would make us feel better and what they would do (even when their lives don’t reflect what they are telling us.) Few words from a wise heart will not necessarily tell us what we want to hear, they will tell the truth even if it hurts and will allow the Spirit to do the work in our hearts. I heard it said once:
Verse 21 goes on to say that “…the lips of the righteous nourish many…” To nourish others is to think carefully of what you will feed others, making sure that the food is necessary for life and growth as opposed to junk food, or overfeeding. To nourish others is to provide and ensure their development and life. Nourishment has a goal in mind, just like words should have a goal in mind.
Oh Lord, let my words be few, well-chosen and increase in value so that they are considered choice silver. May my words nourish others, building them up, encouraging them. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight.(Psalm 19:14) Help me choose words carefully in every new circumstance and conversation.
I need to develop a new kind of speech that honors God and accomplishes His purposes:
- Full of grace,
- Seasoned with salt,
- Knowing how and when to answer. (Col 4:6 “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”)
- Good, wise conversation (James 3:13-20 “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life…… But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”)
- Reflecting a good heart (Phil 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”)
I have work to do. Would people consider what comes out of your mouth, choice silver?
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