Spiritual Snack Food
In the next few weeks Sharon, my wife, will share some of the devotions she has posted on her Treasures of Encouragement blog. Sharon is Executive Director of MARKINC Ministries and oversees production of our broadcast, In His Grip. For more from Sharon, check out her blog at www.treasuresofencouragement.org.
Spiritual Snack Food
Proverbs 15 - so much about words and the power of words for good or evil. Lord, change my heart so that my words heal rather than crush; bring wisdom rather than foolishness; speak truth softly with the gentle kiss of a butterfly rather than shatter like a sledge hammer; consult others for wisdom rather than pridefully refuse counsel; listen humbly to life giving rebukes rather than pridefully declare my own righteousness; slowly respond after careful, thoughtful listening rather than focusing only on my own way; speak with firm gentleness to an angry person rather than responding with harsh, words that stir up more rage; withhold judgement until hearing all sides of a story rather than jumping to hurtful conclusions; share truth that builds bridges rather than half truths that create walls....(From one of my old journals)
Listen, Listen, Listen
The crisis, chaos or conflict that spurred these thoughts - I wish I could remember. But perhaps it's best not to. Perhaps the circumstances don't matter today. Just the truth of God's Word, spurring me on to remember: Listen carefully. Listen with a discerning heart. Hear beyond the presentation. Speak gently. Speak compassionately. Speak truth fearlessly but with merciful justice when necessary. Speak God's truth. When unable to reflect the heart of Jesus, be silent. Where words are many, sin is not absent.
Discover nuggets from Proverbs 15 to tuck away in our hearts as spiritual snack food that can renew our energy when we are weary in choosing to speak gently, even if our words must be hard.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (v. 1)
The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.
The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. (v. 4)
The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools. (v. 7)
The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.
A mocker resents correction; he will not consult the wise. (v. 12)
The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly. (v. 14)
A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. (v. 18)
Plans fall for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. (v. 22)
A man finds joy in giving an apt reply - and how good is a timely word! (v. 23)
The heart of the righteous weighs it answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil. (v. 28)
He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise. (v. 31)
He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding. (v. 32)
I hope I remember to pull out these spiritual snacks when God presents me with an opportunity to be a channel of compassion to a specific person today. How about you?
In His grip,
Sharon W. Betters
For more, check out Sharon’s Blog at www.treasuresofencouragement.org
Treasures of Encouragement: This all inclusive resource is designed to make your retreat planning simple and inexpensive. You will receive an attractive Treasures of Encouragement Tote Bag filled with tools to make your retreat fun and life changing.
Sharon Betters, author of Treasures of Encouragement, will be your speaker via DVD’s. In your tote bag you will find all sorts of tools and exciting ideas for making your retreat fun and a place for women to connect and cultivate community, not only with each other but with Jesus. Click here for a message from Sharon in which she explains why we created this resource and what's in the bag