June 3, 2012
Read: James 3:1-12
He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. —Proverbs 17:27
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.