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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

In Wisdom There Is Life

Communication is the key to success. Without communication our lives would become almost impossible. Even the simplest job such as painting a wall with friends involves communication. First communication would be necessary to organize when the painting would happen, then it would be used to purchase the necessary equipment and paint. Last it would be used to keep the job running smoothly and effectively. If communication is such a big part of our lives surely the Bible would have something to say about it. It does. In fact whole chapters are devoted to our words. The Bible can act as guidelines for our speech. By following the guidelines for speech set up in the Bible a person can learn when to talk what to say and how to say it.
When should we talk? This is obviously a good question. Talking when we shouldn’t can get us in trouble, but so can not talking when we should. According to the Bible, in Proverbs 1:5, the wise listen and add to their understanding. Well that makes sense. If someone doesn’t pay attention during a class it will have negative impacts on his understanding of the concepts when it comes to a test. In Job chapter 2 after job has lost everything, his three friends come to comfort him? Unlike how someone would normally comfort another they say nothing and sit with him for seven days of lamenting. Only after those seven days if lamenting do they speak, but then they find out that they should not have done so. God tells the three friends that He is angry with them. For, although they tried to comfort Job, they spoke wrongly of him. This is just one of the many examples that sometimes silence is the wisest choice.
If someone is grieving what should we say? If we say the wrong thing they will only suffer more. Fortunately the Bible has guidelines for this also. In Proverbs 2:11, it says that discretion will guide you and protect you. Using discretion in our words will shield you from creating enemies. In Proverbs 10:19 another guideline for our speech is set up. It says, “When words are many sin is not absent.” This simple line will greatly benefit anyone who applies it to their life. If we can remember not to let our tongues wander than we can be sure to keep from speaking evil of others. In Proverbs 10:21 it says that our lips should be used to nourish many. Our speech should benefit those who are near. These few simple guidelines will help us live better lives and might help save us from making enemies.
Even if we say the right thing how can we be sure that it will be accepted? A good guideline to follow can be found in Colossians 4:6, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” If our speech is always kind we will not make enemies and we will be more effective at communicating. An offensive word can turn even a friend into an enemy. Proverbs 15:1 reveals that a gentle answer turns away wrath. Our words should be patient. In verse 18 of chapter 15 in proverbs it tells us that a patient man calms a quarrel. If we can use our words to stop a fight between our companions, then we have done well.
As in all areas of our lives if we follow the Bible’s guidelines for our speech we will succeed. If we remember the things the Bible has taught us we will be able to use our communication to help gain people to Christ. As long as we remember to speak only when we should, to keep our words few, to say what is right and appropriate, and to speak in a way that it will be accepted then we will have mastered the art of communication. As told in proverbs 10:31, “The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom.” Our goal in life should be to become as wise as possible, for in wisdom there is life.