January 22 I Sunday
“Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” —Romans 13:14
As we recognize that words are powerful leading to life or death, how then do we learn to use words properly? There are three ways for us to derive wise words. Firstly, we obtain wise words from the Lord. Proverbs 16:1 tells us, “…from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.” Every area of goodness that the Bible teaches ultimately comes from recognizing our dependence on God and allowing Him to work in us and through us, trusting Him for words that are right, appropriate, wholesome and good. This does not mean we never criticize. A critical mind—the ability to discern right from wrong, good from bad—is part of our God-given capacity. Even though it is with words that we challenge and correct people, our words must come from God first.
Secondly, we obtain wise words from thoughtfulness. Proverbs 13:3 reveals, “Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.” Proverbs 15:28 also tells us, “The heart of the righteous weighs its answers…” When we take the time to think about what we say, we choose our words wisely, as Romans 12:2 says: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Thirdly, we obtain wise words from our character. Proverbs 10:20 says, “The tongue of the righteous is choice silver....” A person is not righteous because he speaks good words, but he speaks good words because he is righteous—his character. It is out of the abundance of our heart that we express ourselves. As our characters are molded, our words, vocabulary and speaking become constructive and wholesome. That is why the greatest prerequisite for a change of speech is a change of heart, which can only happen when we believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ, because apart from Him, none of this is going to work.
If we are reading this devotion and do not know Christ as our own personal Saviour and Lord, we can try with our might, “I will speak better on my own.” But the truth is, we will not have the capacity to do it well until Jesus Christ lives in our lives, as we surrender to Him and say, “Lord, come and take over my life.” This is why if we are not a Christian, we need to come to Christ, because only through Christ can we obtain wise words, thoughtfulness and character.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, come and take over my life. Only through You can I obtain wise words, thoughtfulness and character. I choose to surrender my life into Your hands. Thank You, Lord.