"A Different Kind of Wiseman" (2)
For many of us in the Christmas season, the challenge will be to engage the abundance of verbiage from our family and friends and remain civil. This is a daunting task because so much of what we hear will be a “choice morsel” as Solomon said in Proverbs. This past week some of us picked up the challenge to be people who use our tongues to bring life and healing into our relationships.
Proverbs 18:21 says, the tongue has the power of life and death. Hopefully, we will want to be people who speak “life words” into “death word” situations! Here’s how we go about it:
1. Identify a person’s core. What a man is … is what a man is. Proverb 20:19 says, “He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets.” If you see slanderous traits continually surfacing, then this is the substance of the person’s inner being/soul.
2. Identify timing. God’s divine appointment (Kairos moments) abound. It could be a kairos moment and God has chosen you to be His spokesperson! Proverbs 15:23 state “How good it is to give a timely word!” Don’t be surprised if the correction you are to give comes at a price – correction invites insult. Proverbs 9:7 reminds us that “Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults and abuse.”
3. Identify and avoid – After the “timely word” you have spoken, back off and ask yourself, “How bad am I bleeding? A little or a lot?” Proverbs 20:19 directs us when it says, “He who continues to go about as a slanderer reveals secrets. Therefore, do not associate with a gossip.” Sometimes, for a time, we just have to create distance between ourselves and the caustic relatives.
4. Identify what we don’t do? – We don’t expose the spiritual worth and value within us to those who will use it to harm us; to those who wield the sword. Matthew says, “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matt. 7:6)
Don’t give the animals (the scoffers and gossips) access to what you cherish and what is vulnerable in your soul. The dog is chained for a reason. Don’t unchain it. The swine are in a pen for a reason. Don’t open the gate of your soul.
5. Identify what we do? – Something we may not have done much of: pray.
In 1 Samuel 12:23, Samuel speaks to a belligerent and cantankerous nation who has exchanged the living God for a mortal king. He says, “Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “You have done all this evil. (21) Do not turn away after useless idols. (22) For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own. (23) As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you.”
If Samuel thought it was a sin against God for not praying for a less than stellar nation, then that means there is something still very powerful in our prayers for our hard-crusted friends and relatives.
6. Identify … this one will rock your world! But you got to show up on Sunday to find out what it is!