Have you ever called customer service in a huff because something was messed up about your bill, just to have the person you talk to be so pleasant and helpful you went away from the conversation in a good mood or wishing you had been nicer to them? I have...many times.
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
I have ideas about how things "should" be. Ideas like things I pay for should work like I expect them to rather than causing me headaches when I try to use them. Or that when someone asks my opinion about something, they should actually listen to what I say rather than trying to refute everything I say as I say it. These things - and many others - upset me quickly.
So when I read Proverbs 10:11 today, I had to ask myself if I choose wise words when I talk with others, or if I just respond without thinking. Do I act in ways and say things that are a "fountain of life" to others or do I just vent my frustration on them?
And then I continued reading Proverbs 10...in verses 19-21, Solomon continues his thought.
Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value. The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of sense.
There are many lessons to be gained from these words to be sure, but there's no doubt that God wants us to treat people (i.e. His creations) with patience, not anger; mercy, not disdain; and grace, not self-righteousness. In other words, with long-suffering love as discussed in 1 Corinthians 13.
God wants us to treat others w/ patience, not anger; mercy, not disdain; & grace, not self-righteousness. 1 Cor 13. How are you doing?
But how can I do that practically speaking?
One of the primary goals of my life is that it should glorify God. When people see me, I hope they see a compassionate, loving, and merciful representation of Jesus. In other words, I want to live a righteous life.
We all have that split second between being spoken to and when we respond. We can decide (if we choose to) whether we're going to be proactive or reactive in our response.
I am going to do my best, with the Holy Spirit's leading, to be more proactive than I have been in the past. I want to use that time to decide how to respond in a Christ-like manner rather than in my natural response.
Intentionality can be a powerful tool...if I can remember to use it!
Choose wise words today. Intentionality can be a powerful tool...if I can remember to use it!