Review: Discipleship and the art of listening go hand in hand. We listen with empathy and restraint. In last weeks Facts we made the point that we respond with gentleness. We also respond with:
Proverbs 15:28 reminds us that the heart of the righteous weighs (Literally: groans, ponders, muses) its answers Lets determine to respond to a persons heart with wise, measured truth, spoken in love. (See Ecc. 5:2; 1 Cor. 16:14)
Imagine the rarity of a person who actually speaks in a knowledgeable fashion: Lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel (Pro. 20:15a). Lets choose to be that person!
As Gods priests (I Pet. 2:9) lets take seriously this mandate: The lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and from his mouth men should seek instruction–because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty (Mal. 2:7).
3) Building up:
Nourishment: The lips of the righteous nourish many (Pro. 10:21a).
Healing: The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit (Pro. 15:4).
Growth: Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ (Eph. 4:15b).
Through prayer, timing, and the leading of the Spirit, our approach may include one or more of the following:
Encouraging (entreating) and building (strengthen) each other up (1 Thess. 5:11).
Teaching and admonishing: Teach and admonish (caution, gently reprove, warn) one another with all wisdom (Col 3:16a).
Reproving (convince of error, refute, confute) (Col. 3:16)
Rebuking (strongly admonish with urgency and authority) (Col. 3:16)
Exhorting (to invite, beseech, entreat) (2 Tim. 4:2).
This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.
R. Dwight Hill