September 1 (Proverbs 16:23)
The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips. (ESV)
Have you ever noticed that you tend to pay more attention to what some people say? Their words somehow pierce right to your core or seem to have a weightiness to them that causes you to remember them and discuss them with others. I have known many people like this, and on the surface they would seem to have nothing in common. Some are older, some are younger, some are men, and some are women. They have come from different walks of life and differing levels of education. What they shared, however, was wisdom, and wisdom is a matter of the heart.
It is easy to spout advice. Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest would not last long if people did not like to share their opinions with others, and the books we find at conferences and conventions all contain what the speakers have thought and want us to know. Which ones will you buy? Which social media accounts will you follow? Mere popularity is not enough to guarantee wisdom. As you listen to and read the thoughts of others, consider what seems to be behind them. Is it wisdom? Is it a life that is walking in step with God?
And when it comes down to it, why do you give the advice you do? Is it just to have something to say? Is it to feel important or wanted or needed? James 1:19 urges us to be slow to speak. When you do open your lips, do the words that come out flow from a heart that has been transformed by Jesus, one that beats with His blood, one that can be a fount of His wisdom?
Lord, for all the questions in life, may I seek You only and always for the answers. Help me to discern clearly and quickly when You are speaking through one of Your servants and when the counsel I hear is coming from a source other than You. May all the words that I speak to help others be rooted in the One Who is truth, Jesus Christ, in Whose name I pray. Amen.