May 11 - Do You Have a Smart Mouth?

By Richard J. Bennett

Today's Scripture: Proverbs 15:1-3

Central Thought: How we speak can affect the quality of our lives.

    Normally, we think of a 'smart mouth” in a negative sense. But if we can learn to speak wisely, having a smart mouth can add to the quality of our lives and build up others.

    How do we respond when someone speaks to us in anger? Or when we are accused of wrong-doing? If we can learn the secret found in Proverbs 15:1, we will not respond in kind but with a 'soft answer.” Is soft weak? Does soft meekly cave in? No, but it does lack the harshness that turns up the emotions another notch and leads to even more hurtful words and actions.

    Frequently angry words are spoken because of a lack of knowledge. We often can correct misunderstandings by asking questions. And if we will seek to understand what is motivating a person who says or does something that hurts us rather than just assuming evil intentions on his or her part, we can see relationships being built up rather than torn down. Do we 'commend knowledge,” or speak foolishly (15:2)?

    Our speech can demonstrate either honor or dishonor for God. We can be certain He is aware of how we speak (15:3).

Devotional Prayer: God, help me to speak in ways that build up those around me and honor You.

Today's Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 10:1-11:15; John 6:43-71; Psalm 107:1-43; Proverbs 15:1-3