Keep It Shut -- post #4

Although the Proverbs 31 online study has wrapped up and moved on, I'm still working my way through Keep It Shut. One of the best truths shared with me as a young and busy mom:

There are times when we are better to take one verse and pray over it, meditate on it, and digest it the entire day than to rush through reading an entire chapter of the Precious Word only to be just as distracted as when we sat down. it mulling it over, call it letting it simmer, call it what you wish; but I finally feel peace in my heart about my 'take-away' from the next few chapters of Keep It Shut.

In chapter 5, "Manners and Motives," we look at both the why and the how of what we say. Although the following chapters (6-8) get into gossip, what we say online, and other more specific principles of pure speech -- I really think if we let God's word cut us in our hearts, our lips and our fingertips will reflect his grace and glory. We want to "become people who not only utter words that are true but also say them for the right reasons" (Ehman).

"All a person's ways seem pure to them, 
but motives are weighed by the Lord." (Proverbs 16:2)

When we consider not just what we say, but WHY we say it and HOW we say it, I don't know about y'all, but I immediately feel the need to cut down the number of words I say just to keep track of them! I want the words I use to be balanced and carefully chosen to reflect my motive and some good ole' fashion manners.

"A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much." (Proverbs 20:19)

Well, I certainly don't want to be avoided, so I better keep rolling with this...

Motive. We know that means your reason for doing something; but take a little closer look at Webster's:
a reason for doing something, especially one that is hidden or not obvious.

Now we are getting right to it. When I find myself trying to conceal the truth of a situation or especially how I feel about it, I better do a motive check. As I told you from the start, I could be a wealthy attorney with my ability to twist words. When I feel that tongue twisting start -- what's my motive? What's my heart say? Would the Lord want someone to avoid what I'm about to say? Ouch.

A cure for that is simple. Let God's word shape my heart. With technology always in our hands, our back pockets, or an arm's length away; God's Word is easier for us to access than ever before.

"Stop listening to instruction, my son, 
and you will stray from the words of knowledge" (Proverbs 19:27)

As I was wrestling with sharing my take-aways from these chapters, an anonymous poem shared on the back of the church bulletin helped shape my path. Enjoy.

A Word
A careless word may kindle strife;
A cruel word may wreck a life.
A bitter word may hate instill;
A brutal word may smite and kill.
A gracious word may smooth the way;
A joyous word may light the day.
A timely word may lessen stress.
A loving word may heal and bless.

From R7 to you-- 
Be a blessing.

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