Proverbs 25:7b-10 - What your eyes have seen do not hastily bring into court, for what will you do in the end, when your neighbor puts you to shame? Argue your case with your neighbor himself, and do not reveal another's secret, lest he who hears you bring shame upon you, and your ill repute have no end.
It seems to me that out of all the parts of the body, the tongue is the one that does the most damage. It allows us to communicate with our neighbors—and what do we say? Why, whatever we think or know—or think we know. And that's the rub, isn't it?
There are very few people who can look at an ambiguous situation and hold back from leaping to judgment. Was the pastor's car seen late at night outside a woman's home? Of course he's having an affair with her. Did a group of people come out of the boss's office with serious faces and walk past your desk without saying hi? Of course there are going to be layoffs! And so the tongues start wagging, and people get badly hurt.
And yes, sometimes the guesses are true—and sometimes they are wildly off-base. The pastor's car might be there because he and his wife are doing emergency care together for someone in crisis—a crisis you don't know about, because it's deeply personal. The serious meeting might be going on because the CEO has announced his or her retirement—or the opening of a new division. Who can tell?
God can. And that is why we would always be wiser to bring our fears and concerns to Him, the one Person who knows all things already, who will never pass on gossip and who will never do harm with what we tell Him.
But what if we've messed up already? Is it possible to mend the broken relationships caused by our sinful tongues?
Sometimes, with the help of God, yes. Sometimes no. But when we find ourselves facing a mess of our own making, we can always turn to Him for mercy and help and wisdom. He will show us what we should do next. We may (or may not) ever get back that broken relationship, that lost opportunity. But God can bring good out of even the evil we do, and forgive us as well.
This is where we rely on our Savior Jesus for forgiveness, cleansing, and being made new. Our sin is no surprise to Him. It is why He came into the world. And though we may feel unlovable, past forgiving, Jesus' death on the cross tells us that it is not true. Jesus loves us even now. He calls us to Him—even now. And He will share with us His resurrection life—life beyond hope, life remade—if only we will let Him.
Let's throw ourselves at His mercy.
WE PRAY: Dear Lord, for all the damage I've done with my tongue, forgive me. Help me and be with me. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. When have you known a situation that could be taken two ways?
2. How do you prevent yourself from doing harm with your tongue?
3. What words from Jesus' tongue comfort and strengthen you?
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