“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26
“When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.” Proverbs 31:26
“When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly.” Proverbs 31:26
I say dumb things. I say things at the wrong time. I can speak with hard sarcasm in my voice. My words can be selfish. I can pour out many words over unimportant details.
Oh, how I long to be that Proverbs 31 woman whose words, so carefully chosen, build up others. I crave to speak with sweet kindness. I wish to speak words only when it is helpful. I desire to be able to hold my tongue when something mean is about to be said. Do you ever feel that way? Do you ever long to take back words that slipped out?
Take heart my dear friend! We are all works in progress. God is not finished with us. We are on a life long journey. It’s a process that’s going to be filled with successes and learning opportunities when things don’t go quite right.
Soak in this passage from Isaiah 6:5-9
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty. ” Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for” Then I heard the voice of the LORD saying, “Who shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
How many times have we thought to ourselves, “I am a person of unclean lips”! I have, more often than I would like to admit. I’ve said so many poor things in my life. I’ve used my own words to condemn, punish and beat myself up. I’ve even used my own words to keep myself down and stop myself from being that messenger.
In 2003 I really committed my life to Christ. That was when God rescued my heart and when I fell so deeply in love with Him. I’ve been growing closer to God ever since. Not that I’m there or arrived. Every day I have to work to make this a pearl of a day that I can add to the strand of my life.
Over the past few months, I have been working on reading through Jeremiah. I am an extremely slow reader when it comes to the Old Testament. It takes me much more meditating to soak in those words, and more study to see God using them in my life. I literally mean that I have been working on this for months. Looking back in my journal, on May 26th I was on chapter 3. It’s now August 16th. I’m on chapter 48.
There’s still a lot I don’t get in that book. In fact, on June 13th, God gave me words to encourage my soul. He said, “I know as you read through Jeremiah that you are struggling to understand. Don’t stop reading. Keep going. I know that you are wondering how I seem so different than how you know me to be. Trust me, I have not changed, continue and you will see my love. See my heart break, feel the pain of being turned from. See the choices and consequences of my people. Trust that I will be there. Trust that you will be rewarded if you can continue to come to me, just as you are.”
That was such a HUGE encouragement to me. I hope it is an encouragement to you too.
Let me show you how this is already coming alive in my life. Look at what it says in Jeremiah 1:5-9
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” “Ah, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. Then the Lord reached out His hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now I have put my words in your mouth.”
Isn’t that amazing! Both Isaiah and Jeremiah cried out to the LORD, I don’t know how to speak and I have lips that are unworthy. Both of these prophets had to go to God to get their words.
Now look what Jesus said in John 12:49, “For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it.” What a relief! God will not only give us the words to say, but will help us know how to say them.
If it is seeming at this point that I am hopping all over, let me bring this all together for you. A Proverbs 31 woman speaks words of wisdom that are filled with great kindness. On our own, we will always fall short. But we don’t need to beat ourselves up for our shorting comings. We don’t need to compare ourselves to those who speak with great eloquence.
God blessed us all. Even God’s best, Isaiah and Jeremiah, felt the same unworthiness pour from their lips. We just need to follow the example that Jesus set. We need to go to God so that He may give us the words to speak and the ways to say them so they are received in kindness. Again it’s got to start with God.
God + me = Proverbs 31 shall I be
Thank You so much for the way You so faithfully pull the tiniest of threads together to weave this stunningly beautiful tapestry we call life. Thank You for giving us Your Word, that we may have such a valuable resource to help us become the messengers that You want us to become.
Your faithfulness is amazing! How You tie lives together, how You bring together Your consistent message from Old Testament to New Testament to our lives today. Wow! We can’t help but simply be in awe of You.
I pray this prayer with my meager words, but God bless each person who reads them by Your hand. Help us each to form our messages with kindness and wisdom. Help our Words to be received as gifts extravagantly wrapped in Your love and filled with Your life giving encouragement.
In Jesus name, Amen.