Speech is a beautiful gift. It distinguishes us from all earthly creations. It allows us to communicate with others, to pray to and praise God, and as William Stevens once said, the ability to speak “allies us to angelic beings.”
But, as with all things tainted by sin, we have taken this beautiful gift meant to be used for good and glorious purposes and, often, use it for bad. We become talking fools when we react in anger, gossip about friends, and slander our enemies. We take what should be an instrument of love and use it to be unkind and harsh, condemning and critical, self serving and pride building.
Words can be sharp and can make both shallow and deep cuts. We wield our tongue carelessly without realizing that we have caused tender hearts to bleed.
This is why it is dangerous to speak without thinking and why James cautions us to be slow to speak (James 1:19).
Proverbs tells us that a godly woman opens her mouth in wisdom and speaks with kindness. It is not only what she says but also how she speaks that is important. Wise words are not just cute little quips that we have been taught as we grow up, like “If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all,” or “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.” Biblically, wise words flow out of us by knowing the Word of God.
In our Bibles we learn how to handle conflict, how to love, how to ask for forgiveness, how to handle hard days, and how to kill complaint. The better we know and live these truths ourselves the more able we are to share this kind of practical wisdom with others.
Being wise in our speech also means testifying to the glory and goodness of Jesus Christ. Who can deliver us from our guilt? Who is merciful toward the brokenhearted and burdened? Who else is worthy of our highest praise and honor? Who is our salvation?
The wise woman will breathe the gospel, speak the gospel, and will always be ready to give an answer for the hope she has within her (1 Peter 3:15). Wise speech like this doesn’t just happen, but is developed and matured as we grow in the knowledge of our God. As we learn it ourselves, we share it with others.
True wisdom flows out of the mouths of those who love and know God.
Looking To Jesus,
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