My Momma says: Always keep your words sweet, then it won’t be so bad when you have to eat them!

Walk in Wisdom – Gleanings from Scripture
Today’s Reading: Luke 20:1-8 / Titus 3:9-15 / Prov. 16:17-33 / Esther 5 & 6

“I’m a plain talking kind’a guy – I don’t mince words.” Ever hear something like
that? It is usually used as a justification for being brusque, abrupt, insensitive or
downright rude. But when you look at a passage like Proverbs 16, and take note
there are no less than nine references to how we order our speech – it does give
one pause. Yes, it is true that in the name of being loving in speech, some
actually use THAT as a guise for dishonesty. And, it is also true that some use
the cloak of being truthful, as a means of saying anything that comes to mind,
no matter how hurtful, inappropriate or even contradictory to a Christlike
demeanor. In a day and a culture that has been alternately governed by political
correctness in speech, and open season on “confrontation” it seems as though
there is no balance to be found. But Proverbs speaks openly, powerfully and
eloquently to this perennial problem all the way through its 31 chapters. Each
place worthy of note. But for today, look at just the three concepts advanced for
governing our lips in verses 21, 23 & 24. Lessons I need to learn for sure.
Sweetness. Judicious. Gracious. No hedging on the truth – but all having to do
with HOW we speak, when most of us are more concerned with WHAT we speak.
Both are vital. But here, how is the issue. Note that in 21, Persuasiveness and a
discerning heart are both linked with sweetness of speech. Not how we normally
think of it, is it? We imagine persuasion consists more in precision, power,
maybe even volume or repetition. Nope. Sweetness actually improves
persuasiveness, for the hearer perceives you mean to do them good, not just
get your words out. Judicious. Choosing the right words for the right occasion.
This too increases persuasion. Do you think before you speak? I am so grateful
God always does. Or we’d all be dust. And lastly, Gracious. Words that
communicate favor and a desire to bless, not harm. To heal, not hurt. Look at
Jesus’ patterns of speech and take note. Even in His sharpest rebuke, He aims
at the other’s good. He avers to bring them to a better place. How about you?
How about me?


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