12–18 July 2015.
Today we still talk about the seven wonders of the ancient world. Like the pyramids of Egypt, these ancient wonders were impressive structures and buildings that people even in ancient times thought were amazing. They are things we still find impressive today. We read about these places or go and visit them, and we stand in awe over what people were able to build with their hands so many thousands of years ago.
While human hands can build incredible things, things that last millennia, our hands are probably not as powerful or as influential as our mouths. Our mouths don’t create great buildings, but they do create a world around us: a world that is pleasant for us to live in, or one that hurts and destroys us, and others!
Many of the proverbs in today’s reading speak about the power of our mouths, and they encourage us to use our mouths wisely.
In verse 1, wise mouths create peace, a far better wonder than any pyramid. In verses 2 and 7, we see that our mouths can build up knowledge, spreading wisdom from one person to another. In verse 4, we learn that our wise words can be a source of life and comfort. And in verse 28 we see how precious it is to have words that are spoken with care and consideration. Perhaps greatest of all, verse 8 teaches us that our wise words are not only a cause for happiness among people, they are even a cause for God’s joy. How wonderful to think that the words we speak can have such a marvellous affect, even in heaven!
The great castles and palaces of the world may have been created by hands, but verse 31 assures us that whoever listens to wisdom, and reflects that wisdom in their own lives and speech will live among the wise – a place far better than any palace.
So let’s try to pay attention to the words we use this week. Whenever you speak, ask yourself: Are my words causing damage and harm, or am I using my words to create something wonderful in the world?
Pastor Stephen Lakkis