She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
Oh boy, this is a hard verse, ladies. Just the other day I barked at one of my children because I was impatient. It turned out that he hadn’t done anything wrong. Big fail! I see the words spoken in haste to my husband when I am irritated, or the impatience I show my children on days when I am overwhelmed and they are not listening. I see myself getting upset when my kids fight with each other, and then respond like a fool and not like a wise woman. Yep, there are too many days when kindness is not the first thing off my tongue; when wisdom seems to have disappeared and been replaced with words that are spoken in haste.
But God’s grace is new every morning, and this is good news because I need it every day. Every day I get to start again with the real hope of growing, learning, and becoming the woman God has created me to be. As a Christian you have this hope as well!
So let’s figure out how to become a woman who is overflowing with wisdom and who speaks kindness in the midst of stressful, hard, and annoying days.
We need to learn to slow down and think before we open our mouths. We need to do better than react. We need to thoughtfully respond. It sounds so easy, but we don’t do it. And we often struggle here because we don’t really understand the power of words. Words have the ability to do damage to people, to even kill relationships. With them we can lead someone in the wrong direction and even bring about our own ruin.
A fool’s lips walk into a fight,
and his mouth invites a beating.
A fool’s mouth is his ruin,
and his lips are a snare to his soul.
Wise words, on the other hand, have the ability to heal wounds, to calm anger, to restore relationships, and to lead others down the path of righteousness. Words can give life.
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
I love this little poem (great for children as well) written by the journalist William Norris.
“If your lips would keep from slips,
Five things observe with care:
To whom you speak; of whom you speak;
And how, and when, and where.”
Every day we need to spend time talking to our Lord. He sympathizes with us and is always ready and willing to help. We tend to forget that we cannot grow more godly on our own. We need Christ and his power to work in us. We should pray that God makes us more sensitive to the words that come out of our mouths as well as the tone that we use. We need him to remind us daily that we are to do all things for his glory. Speaking with God prepares and empowers us to speak to others.
In addition to talking to God, we need to dwell on God’s word. We need to read it, think deeply about it, memorize it. The reason this is so important is because the words that come out of our mouths are a barometer of what is in our hearts.
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good,
and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil,
for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Ask yourself, “What is my heart filled with?” Or perhaps, “What was my heart filled with when I was reacting that way?” It doesn’t matter if people or circumstance make us mad or if we are tired and irritable. We can’t use such things to excuse what we say or how we say them. What comes out of our mouths simply show us what is truly going on deep in our soul.
Have you ever noticed that if you are not in God’s word, the scriptures seem to be less on your tongue? It is so important that we bind them on our minds and hearts, just like Israel did in the Old Testament, so that it is ever before us. God’s word works like an antidote to the sin that lives within us. Our Divine Physician knows how to heal us.
“The heart must be the treasury or store-house in which the word of God must be laid up, to be used upon all occasions. We cannot expect good practices in the conversation, unless there be good thoughts, good affections, and good principles, in the heart.”
- Matthew Henry
My challenge to all of us is to learn to slow down, to intentionally put God’s word before us, and to run to Jesus for strength, help and encouragement.
Looking to Him,