Living Words (Proverbs 26)
Our speech matters.
There are good words, bad words, and sarcastic words. Words that build up and words that tear down. Today in Proverbs 26 we see that this is far from a new problem as this proverb of Solomon displays;
“Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death
is one who deceives their neighbour and says, “I was only joking!””
(Proverbs 26:18–19 NIV11)
“I was only joking.” What a terrible way to attempt to undo damage done through words. Solomon pictures them as ‘arrows of death’ so it’s far from a small matter. So how should we speak? In the New Testament Paul often reflects on how those who are living a new life in Jesus should be made new in their minds and in their speech.
“But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”
(Colossians 3:8–10 NIV11)
To be converted is to convert one’s mouth. Not only removing the old ways of lying and filthy language but adding in words that by nature bring the very life you have found. Here Paul continues a few verses later to lay out what Christian speech should include;
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
(Colossians 3:15–17 NIV11)
Thanksgiving – let our lips express gratitude. Teaching and admonishing – let our lips bring insight and guidance. Singing – let our mouths tell out the goodness of God as the Spirit guides us to recall psalms and songs that refresh and builds up.
Sarcasm, snide remarks, and put-downs are often the language of our day and fill our screens, podcasts, and social media feeds. Surrounded by such a storm you and I need to fill up daily on the very Word of God so that we have words inside of us that are full of life. Let’s ask God to remake our mouths, to convert our tongues, and renovate our hearts so that we may praise our Maker, and love our neighbour.
May the living Word of God at work by His Holy Spirit enable that to happen – even in us – this day.
Grace and peace,
#newlifeisfoundhere #readingfornewlife #wisdom #Proverbs