January 10, 2023
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions. (Proverbs 10:11-12)
Some people suck the life right out of you. When they speak, it is almost always contentious. Their responses and reasonings are shaped by past hurt or lingering bitterness. And hurting people hurt people.
A heart that has some lingering anger always “stirs up strife.” You can talk to several people, but when they come into the conversation, you know it will not end well. You can’t get to sound conclusions because you find yourself dancing around their hurt. You don’t want to bring up specific topics around them because you know they cannot be discussed reasonably.
But there are others who are a joy to be around. You find yourself looking forward to conversations. You pursue them when you need counsel. Even if they are confronting or challenging you, they speak in ways that almost always encourage you. A cup of coffee with them results in a lifted heart and a renewed mind. They help you see reality better. They seem to bring God into the equation in ways that help you find the next step. They are life-giving.
The writer of Proverbs 10 says of such people that their words are ...
They have that Divine wisdom that is “pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy” (James 3:17).
Are your words life-giving? Did your conversations yesterday bring the life of God to those around you or deflate and defeat others?
Jesus said the mouth always speaks out of what fills the heart (Matthew 12:34). The remedy for life-taking words is a repentant, humble heart that is constantly looking to let God have control. A Spirit-filled man or woman will speak life-giving words. Unresolved hurt must be dealt with. Forgiveness must win the day regarding everything in the past so our words can be “pure” and not tainted, tinged by the acid of bitterness.
Father, make my words today life-giving!
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