20. Be careful what you say. Speak in ways that are right, true, honorable and trustworthy.- Ja 3:2-12; Ep 4:29
James 3:2-12 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check...
Ephesians 4:29 -Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
My father used to have several sayings that he used to use to try and still my restless tongue when I was a child. Two of those saying make me smile. The first was "Don't open your mouth before you put your brain in gear." And the second, which still makes me smile is "Don't let your brain go on parade." I always pictured my brain as a drum major leading a big band of noisy, off-key musicians.
I don't know if those really helped me or not. I guess when I was that age I talked incessantly and had no filter. My dad also would say that "I liked to hear my head rattle."
I will give my dad credit.. I don't remember him ever yelling at me to "shut up". So many people harshly raise their voice to get kids to be still. I know my Dad probably wanted to yell many times but he must have choked that down.
James, the half-brother of Jesus, said that anyone who can control what they say is perfect. The word perfect here sounds like the unachievable mark but it just means to be complete, or like God. You see, the more we control our words we come closer to that mark where God wants us to be. As Christians, we should strive for that mark.
There used to be a man at one of the churches I where I served that was always quiet. He would let the young leaders growl and nip and not say anything. The chairman of the board would then interrupt everyone and ask this man what he thought. He would lean back, scratch his stubble, and lean forward to speak slowly and carefully. Then he would utter some words that everyone thought were very profound. He would sit back in his chair, fold his hands in his lap and look down as if he were going to pray... or take a nap. I can't say that his words were always that amazing but the very way he handled himself and shut down the room was magic. His wisdom was not always in what he said but that he didn't always "run off at the mouth" (another Dad saying).
My friends, if we want to shine the light we need to learn to use wisdom when we speak. This is especially true when we use social media, our with our friends, when we teach or use the pulpit, and when we attend meetings.
May God bless you today as you shine the light with wholesome words of encouragement that benefit all who listen.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Father; You are perfect in every way. Help me to be more like you. Lord, Fill my mouth with worthy stuff and nudge me when I’ve said enough. Thanks, Father, I pray this in Jesus’ name, AMEN!