Proverbs 16-18; Romans 15

Prov 16:24 (The Message):
Gracious speech is like clover honey—good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body.
Prov 16: 27-29 (The Message):
Mean people spread mean gossip; their words smart and burn.
Trouble makers start fights; gossips break up friendships.
Calloused climbers betray their very own friends; they’d stab their own grandmothers in the back.
Proverbs 17: 4 (The Message):
Evil people relish malicious conversation; the ears of liar’s itch for dirty gossip.
Proverbs 17:14 (The Message):
The start of a quarrel is like a leak in a dam, so stop it before it bursts.
Proverbs 17:17 (The Message):
Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.
Proverbs 17:27 (The Message):
One who knows much says little; an understanding person remains calm.
Proverbs 18:4 (The Message):
Many words rush along like rivers in flood, but deep wisdom flows up from artesian springs.
Proverbs 18: 7 -8 (The Message):

Fools are undone by their big mouths; their souls are crushed by their words.
Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy; do you really want junk like that in your belly?
Proverbs 18:13 (The Message):
Answering before listening is both stupid and rude.
Proverbs 18: 15 (The Message):
Wise men and women are always learning, always listening for fresh insights.
Proverbs 18:20-21 (The Message):
Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach; good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest.
Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.

All my life I have struggled with the things that come out of my mouth. My family liked to jest at someone else’s expense. But I found that in the real world, other people didn’t understand this type of behavior, and took it differently than what I intended. I hurt people’s feelings, or I offended them which resulted in misunderstandings, on both sides actually. This was not at all what I intended to accomplish, because mostly the people I jested with, were people I cared about and wanted near me. But my words actually did the opposite and pushed them away. It is not how I intended the person to receive my words that counted, it was their perception of the words that they heard.

But as I got older, I began to read and meditate on the Word. And because of my life experiences, I realized why it is better to leave some things unsaid. My mother always used to say “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.” I just thought it was a dumb saying. She had lots of those , but what she had was a lot of wisdom.

I don’t want to be poisonous, I don’t want to gossip or listen to gossip, I don’t want to quarrel, especially over things that won’t matter five minutes from now, and I certainly don’t want to kill anyone, even if it is only with my words. So, there are things I must practice to achieve those things. First, I have to pray every day about the words that come out of my mouth and off my fingertips (and I do this!), I need to listen more and speak less, and I need to walk away from some conversations even if I desperately want to hear all about it. I’d rather be a friend in every sense of the word. Life is hard enough without damaging relationships over unnecessary words.

How I treat and what I say to other people matters. It matters to me, and it surely matters to GOD!
Only with the help of the Holy Spirit can I learn to form a lifetime of good habits. I cannot change the poison I already spewed, but I can surely change tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day.

Romans 15:1-5 (The Message):
Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us , asking ourselves, ” How can I help?”
That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles but waded right in and helped out. “I took on the troubles of the troubled” is the way Scripture puts it. Even if it was written in Scripture long ago, you can be sure it’s written for us. God wants the combination of his steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in Scripture to come to characterize us, keeping us alert for whatever He will do next. May your dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all. Then we’ll be a choir–not our voices only, but our very lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God and Father of our Master Jesus!

What if each of us thought of how our words and actions affect the kingdom of God? What if all Christians united as a choir and sang in harmony, not only in song, but also in how we treat those around us? What if we were warm, calming and personal to all we came in contact with, at all times? God can give us the strength to do this and the result is so much more than what we think about down here on earth. The result is all believers lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God and Father of our Master Jesus!

Do you think this world would be different if we did this? I can only imagine!

Father God, you are our source of hope, Fill us completely with joy and peace as we trust in you. Help us to overflow with goodness, confidence, and boldness to help those around us every day. Help us to tap into the power and energy of the Holy Spirit every minute of every day! Help us to affect the kingdom of God. In Jesus’s name, Amen!

Carol (carolvorwe)

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