Could you imagine seeing a newspaper want ad like the this one:
- Help Wanted! Counselors of Joy:
- Must be willing to retrain the way you think and speak of others.
I thought about this as I read my daily proverb this morning.
- Proverbs 12:17 ¶ He who speaks truth declares righteousness, But a false witness, deceit. 18 ¶ There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health. 19 ¶ The truthful lip shall be established forever, But a lying tongue is but for a moment. 20 ¶ Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, But counselors of peace have joy.
As I continue to read through the book of Proverbs it is amazing how many times the LORD commends the righteous for speaking words that build others up; words that promote healing, peace, joy, and comfort. It is also amazing how many times the LORD condemns the the wicked for speaking words that destroy others.
I have a friend who was destroyed by the words of a teacher when he was in grade school. My friend suffered with asthma as a child, as a result he tended to miss a lot of school. One day when he returned to school after missing a couple days, his teacher said to him, “You are always absent, you will never be anything.” These were horribly harsh words to a kid that loved learning and loved going to school. Needless to say, after hearing this my friend hated going to school; he hatted it so much that his mom would fight him daily to do so. (The above friend was actually one of my brothers)
Take a look at Ephesians 4:29 below:
- Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
The word in verse 29 “corrupt” (GK. adjective = sapros) means rotten, like rotten fruit. When I think of this word it reminds me of a tomato or a piece of fruit that has become moldy and unpalatable. The point is: If I would not eat something rotten and gross like this, then I should not serve it to others.
My prayer for everyone that reads this is that God will use them as “Counselors of peace”. Although using words to put someone in their place or tear them down may make us feel important and powerful at the time, in the long run they will not bring us joy. As Proverbs 12:20 says, the “counselors of peace have joy.” Friend, let’s speak life!