A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man’s rebuke to a listening ear. Like the coolness of snow at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the spirit of his masters. Proverbs 25:11-13 (NIV)
Speak And Act Wisely
Do you want to be able to speak the right words at the right time? Do you want to be able to share wise words that will uplift, encourage, and guard and guide others? Do you want to be able to speak life giving words that will refresh others like the coolness of snow at harvest time? In other words, do you want me to speak through you? Do you want me to use you? Do you want to be able to speak and act wisely? How could I say no to any of your questions? I would be foolish to say no to any one of your questions. Yes, I want to be able to speak the right words at the right time. Yes, I want to be able to share wise words with others. Of course, I want to speak life giving words. I do want you to use me. I do want you to speak through me. I want to be able to speak and act wisely. I am glad to hear you saying yes to all my questions. Now, comes the hard part. What must you do if you want to be able to speak the right words at the right time? What must you do if you want my wisdom to come out of your mouth? What must come before wise speaking or wise acting? I see where this is headed. Let me hear what you have to say. Wise listening comes before wise speaking or wise acting. That is correct. Why do you suppose I referred to that has the hard part? I have not been known to be a good listener. Why is that? To be honest, at many points, I have been full of myself. I have been something of a know it all. I have been filled with pride. Instead of being quick to listen and slow to speak, I have been just the opposite. I have been quick to speak and slow to listen. If I want to speak wisely, I will need to listen wisely. I need to listen more attentively. I need to speak more carefully. Wisdom does not reside in me. Wisdom does not come naturally to me. Without your counsel, without your help, I am sure to offer my own foolish and unwise opinions. So, to be clear, for me to be able to think and speak and act wisely, I need to ask you for wisdom. When you give me wisdom, I need to listen to it and act on it. So, I need to slow down and ask for your wisdom. I need to wait to hear from you. Only then will I be able to speak and act wisely. Will you ask for my wisdom? Will you listen attentively to me? Will you act on the wisdom I give to you? Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good.
Lord, I know pride has hindered my ability to hear words of wisdom. I have been something of a know it all. Forgive me. Help me to be able to hear and receive and act on words of wisdom. Help me to also be able to speak life giving words of wisdom to others. Amen
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