Apples of Gold, Part 2
A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
The Psalmist’s struggle with his mouth encourages me:
Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!
Psalm 141:3 ESV
What is the guard at his mouth that the Psalmist requests? Intimacy with Jesus is the best filter. Do you want your words to be like “apples of gold in a setting of silver?” Reaching that goal requires cultivating a humble God-centered attitude in your heart. But instead of adding this task to your to do list, recognize that intimacy with Jesus, not a to do list, transforms our hearts. Be intentional about asking the Lord to open your eyes to attitudes that spill out in words that hurt rather than heal. No doubt we will still blunder and say things we wish we could pull back. That’s where the beauty of the Gospel transforms us through repentance and a renewed commitment to surrender to the “guard at our mouth.”
LIFE GIVING ENCOURAGEMENT
The Psalmist prays for a guard over his mouth. God’s answer to this request is for us to spend time with Jesus through prayer and reading His Word, asking Him to prepare us for those opportunities to speak healing, life-giving words. Listen and consider carefully the needs of the person in front of you. Will your words build up or tear down? Read Philippians 4:8-9 and ask how you are reflecting each quality in life-giving speech:
Finally, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
STORE UP MORE TREASURES
At some point in our lives, we or someone we know will go through great suffering. I encourage you to go the MARKINC website and listen to the Chronic Illness audio resource so that you can store up treasures of encouragement for the next rainy day in your life or someone else's. Here is a summary and teaser of this resource:
Having a long-term or chronic illness can disrupt your life in many ways. Managing your illness can be overwhelming as you try to understand what's happening in your body and how you can best use the energy you have each day. Chronic illnesses can be frightening because you may not understand why this is happening to you. In this transparent interview, Sharon Betters leads the conversation with three women who share some of their daily challenges as they live with the impact of multiple sclerosis, recurring cancer and heart disease, diabetes, fibromyalgia and multiple auto-immune diseases.