Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Men Don't Listen - Part IV

Part I is here.

Part II is here.

Part III is here.

Wise Men Learn to Speak Words of Life to Their Brothers

Once he has pondered the words he has heard, the wise man sets out to speak (by God’s grace) the words of life:

  • Proverbs 10:11 “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.”
  • Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”
  • Proverbs 25:11-14 “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear. Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the soul of his masters. Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give.”

Many of us have been blessed to know one or two folks that always seem to have the right thing to say at the right time. If you read much history from the Great Awakening, you will begin to notice the name John Newton over and over again. As the years wore on, Newton became known for his choice words.

When Henry Martyn was considering mission work to India, he paid Newton a visit and confessed to him his fear of the great opposition he would most certainly meet with in the endeavour. Newton replied with choice words that included a statement to the effect that "Satan will not love you for what you are about to do." Then the old pastor simply prayed for the missionary-designate.

Those words of life helped to bring the Gospel of Life to India.

  • Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”

  • Ephesians 4:29-32 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

  • Romans 15:14 “I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.”

We need more words of life in the church and in our homes. Too often we men spout off instant cures and quick fixes and miss our opportunities to speak to the heart of our wives, children, and church family.

We need to discipline our ears to think of people's words as windows into their heart. As we ask deliberate questions, don't retreat from awkward places, listen with our minds and choose our words to fit what we see, we will be used by God (in His grace) to speak words of life to sin-parched souls.

Save your speaking to the end - and make every word count.