Daily Devotional: Psalms 17:1-5
1 Hear, O LORD, my righteous plea; listen to my cry. Give ear to my prayer--it does not rise from deceitful lips. 2 May my vindication come from you; may your eyes see what is right. 3 Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin. 4 As for the deeds of men--by the word of your lips I have kept myself from the ways of the violent. 5 My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not slipped.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
This past Sunday, I wore a pink sports coat to church. Afterwards, while standing in the foyer, a lady came up to me and said that she just really did not like pink. This could have hurt my feelings but it did not because this was not the first time that she has told me this, so I knew it already. I once had a dear friend who would say things which would have been better off unsaid. If confronted, she would say that she thought it, so she might as well say it. Some things we keep quiet.
I cannot help but wonder how many times I should have kept my mouth closed and left words unsaid. Feelings have been hurt, anger has been stirred and some have become discouraged because of words. Paul says that if it is not going to build up someone, be quiet. We have often heard that if we cannot say something nice about someone, just do not say anything. This is wisdom demonstrated.
We, like David, need to resolve that we do not sin with our mouth. James says that the tongue is the most difficult part of our body to control. Jesus did not say a word while being accused, so much so that it amazed the governor. One friend, who is a quiet man, told me that he never learned anything while talking. We need to pray that “the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable” to the Lord. May God give us all a pure heart to speak good words.
Thank you, Lord, for the ability to speak words. Give me a pure heart and wisdom to say those things that will build up others and glorify your name. Help me learn to listen more and listen better but say less. Keep me from saying things that hurt others or tear them down. Most of all, give me courage to speak your word boldly but with wisdom and with love. Help me share your gospel with those who are lost. Please give wisdom to the leaders of our country so we can live in peace as we seek to serve you according to your will. I pray in the name of Jesus.