Daily D – Proverbs 22:11
Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech will have the king as a friend. PROVERBS 22:11 (NLT)
GOD loves the pure-hearted and well-spoken; good leaders also delight in their friendship.
A coworker likes to talk about showing up well. What does she mean by that? This big idea actually contains several smaller ideas. Check out this link for a bit of a mind stretch: https://bit.ly/2ZjTucO
Showing up well for those closest to you, those you meet in the course of your daily duties, and those you encounter along the way certainly includes the two big ideas in this proverb. Pure hearts and gracious speech are always welcome.
Many years ago, one of the references on my resume called to tell me the chairman of a search committee had visited him to talk about me. My reference described his guest as “a man in whom there is no guile.” Getting to know that man quite well in the ensuing years, I had to agree. He was thoughtful, humble, and wise. He asked good questions. He provided guidance only when asked or otherwise necessary. His mood was perpetually good. He always showed up well.
A college professor and mentor was a man of gracious speech. His kindness was legendary. When he passed away, I was shocked by how many people thought they were as close to him as was I. Each among this multitude could point to the most timely notes, the most charming conversations. This professor was a man of strong opinions, the kinds of opinions which would get him cut off from general acceptance today, yet he could get along with even those who considered him an ideological adversary. I will never forget the day he literally bowed before a man who was his opposite in so many ways. His humble example is ever before me.
What do you and I need to remove from our hearts to make them purer as we move into this day? What kinds of thoughts do we need to fill our minds so that only edifying words escape our mouths? How can we wedge in more grace and squeeze out more of everything else?
Two suggestions come to mind. First, use Philippians 4:8, 9 as your guide. Cultivate a heart for all of the goodness of God’s wonderful world. We are drawn where we focus. Focus on the right things.
Second, follow the guidance of Ephesians 4:29-31. Among the gems in this passage is this from verse 29: “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”
The elevator going up in life is filled with people who show up well. This elevator is always less crowded and much more enjoyable than the one going down.
I will show up well.
Our Father, create in me a clean and pure heart. Give me a love for all of the good things you have created and all the good things you are doing all around me. Place your thoughts in my mind and your words in my mouth. Fill my life with grace and peace. Amen.
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Leviticus 19:32-34 “Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the Lord. “Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”
Luke 6:27-31 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”