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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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”