May 28 I Saturday
2 Chronicles 4-6
“An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.” —Proverbs 18:19, NLT
“What causes fights and quarrels among you?” (James 4:1). This is a question that James rhetorically asked, when writing his letter to the early church. Maybe some of us are in the heat of a fight or a quarrel as we read this devotion, and we could give a long list of topics that we are arguing about. But James is not asking what we are arguing about, he is asking, what is actually causing the arguments? As we dig deep into our hearts to understand our motivation, may we reflect on these two questions: How can we remain faithful to our conviction, but communicate in a way that produces dialogue and not quarrel? How can I balance truth and love when discussing difficult issues with people who disagree with me?
Our God is a God who communicates with us; if this does not take our breath away, it should. From the beginning of creation, He created the world by communicating who He is and how He loves us. Everything in creation communicates this to us. He created us in His image and gave us the incredible gift of being able to communicate.
As Christians, we are tasked with sharing the good news of Jesus Christ to people, but it is also vital to think about how we communicate that to others. Proverbs 15:1 tells us, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” We need to understand the gift that we have, given by God, when we communicate with one another. Words are powerful as Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death....” We find the Bible full of passages that warn us of the power of words spoken carelessly or spoken with intent to do harm instead of bringing life, to tear down instead of building up. Proverbs 11:9 goes, “With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbours....” Yet, at the heart of God, He intended for His gift of communication to be used to build relationships and bless others. “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24).
What is our communication like with others? What are we using our words for? Are we utilizing the gift of communication that God gave us for the glory of God or are we abusing it for our own benefit? Jesus warns us, “Everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken” (Matthew 12:36). May we recognize the privilege and gift that we have to communicate and use it for the kingdom of God.
Prayer: Lord God, thank You for the gift of communication. May I use my words to share the good news of Jesus Christ and advance the kingdom of God.