[This post is actually a devotional I wrote for our Women’s Ministry at church. We have been doing a series on the Proverbs 31 woman. Just wanted to share….]
Oh to be described as someone who speaks with wisdom! I think of all the qualities the Proverbs 31 woman possesses; this one touches my heart the most. No one could argue that our ideal woman was purposeful, resourceful, a hard-worker, brave, and a helper for her husband, but what good would all of those qualities be if she did not guard her words? Or if she had a harsh spirit?
Wisdom guided all of her tasks, and it also guided her tongue.
Our ideal example of Biblical womanhood demonstrates the importance of guarding our words. It is so easy to speak out in anger, frustration, and embarrassment. It is so easy to give voice to our thoughts the moment they enter our consciousness. We can post, tweet, call, text, and whisper our displeasure over anything—anytime. Yet, the question we first must ask ourselves is, should we?
What if we paused for a moment and asked ourselves the following questions before speaking:
Is what I am about to say going to point others to Jesus or away from Him?
Am I speaking from my hurt, or from God’s heart?
Our ideal Biblical example is one of purposefulness in speech, in word, and in action. Can’t you see her pausing before opening her mouth to speak? Pausing for a moment to pray. Pausing for a moment to breathe in God’s grace so that she doesn’t pour out her wrath.
Sometimes we will be called to stand up and speak out for truth, to speak out against injustice. But we must do so with wisdom and kindness. Otherwise, we will just add more noise into an already noisy world.
But how do we do this? How do we speak with wisdom and kindness in a world that is all about speaking first, speaking loudly, and speaking personal opinions?
The answer, of course, is found in God’s Word (the source of true wisdom).
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5
“For the LORD gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and sincere.” James 2:17
God will supply our need for wisdom. He supplies it through His Word, through other believers, and through the Holy Spirit. The more tightly we cling to God’s Word, the more tightly we will cling to our words before we let them leave our mouth. We will be able to measure our words against His Words.
Speaking with wisdom requires us to first fill our hearts and minds with the wisdom God alone can provide. Then it requires us to pause a moment before we speak and ask ourselves, are the words I am going to speak, and the way I am going to speak them, pleasing to God?
Then when God does call us to speak, we will be ready. Armed with His Words. Ready to speak with wisdom and kindness. Ready to point others to Jesus. Ready to shine His light brightly into a dark world.