Ohhhh, here we go again . . . sometimes these verses really smoosh my toes . . . (Grin)
From Job 19:2:
“How long will you torment me and break me in pieces with words?
From Psalm 55:20-21
My companion stretched out his hand against his friends; he violated his covenant. His speech was smooth as butter, yet war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.
...who whet their tongues like swords, who aim bitter words like arrows, shooting from ambush at the blameless, shooting at him suddenly and without fear.
We can learn a lot from these verses and others; we can examine our own speech and see if we are tormenting others like Job's critics, or if we are being deceitful as the person in Psalm 55, or even using bitter words like the people in Psalm 64.
These (below) are verses that show us how we should speak. They are so very familiar, but how many times do we find the Spirit reminding us that we need to do a little better in this department?
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life
The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.
To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
If we use the Proverbs 31, Spirit-filled woman as a guide, an ideal to emulate (not a model to increase our guilt), we need to utilize the discernment that we are cultivating. You are cultivating that, aren't you? I know I am trying! Just like Paul told the Philippians....
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,(Philippians 1:9-10).....cultivating discernment and wisdom is an important part of our daily time with God. In our studies we can find and internalize truths from the Bible, and we can pray that He will bring those verses and concepts to our mind at the times that we need them.
Discernment will help us to assess a situation and speak to the needs of the person -- not jump to a conclusion and turn the person off with ill-chosen words.
Wisdom will assist us when we are asked for guidance, and we suddenly freeze with the knowledge of the responsibility in our answer. Instead of looking at the questioner like a deer staring at headlights, we can offer a silent prayer and calmly try to help them, with what we've learned in our times with the Lord.
"Thinking on your feet" is an ability that some have, and others do not. Personally, I don't have it! But I still try to offer words of testimony in my workday world, and in other situations that God brings to me, and I sincerely hope that seeds for good are planted.
There is one more time that our speech needs to be seasoned with wisdom, and needs to be faithful. It's in our times with our Lord. When we pray, are our words like the torrent released in a summer thunderstorm? Do we besiege the Lord with "many words" and "vain repetition" because we are so sure that we know what we need, and we simply must convince our Father?
Sometimes we need to be faithful, full of faith, and have the quiet confidence that He will solve the problem, right the wrong, and settle the score.
But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.
Be silent before the Lord God!
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
Father, please help me to be honest with myself, and know if my words are wise and faithful.