When the most famous woman in Proverbs “opens her mouth” (ESV) and says, “Ahhh,” she doesn’t fill the air with mere sound. She fills it with wisdom.
To be honest, I’m not intimidated by the fact that she “selects wool and flax and works with eager hands” (Proverbs 31:13) or that she “considers a field and buys it” (Proverbs 31:16). Every woman has her own unique set of skills, right?
But this business about the words she speaks? Oh my.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:26
She speaks with wisdom,…
Right now I’m so under conviction, I almost can’t type.
See, I am a woman who speaks a lot—basically, from the moment I open my eyes until I finally close them at night. Hour by hour, I toss out my opinions, plans, advice, ideas, observations, random thoughts, all that. You can be sure if it’s on my mind, it’s on my lips.
Now the time has come to ask some hard questions. Are the words I speak “skillful and godly” (AMP)? Are they “sensible” (CEV)? Do I have anything “worthwhile to say” (MSG), or am I simply talking my way through life?
When our Proverbs 31 sister speaks, “her mouth is full” (CEB). She offers something worth hearing. People gladly listen, knowing her words will be “like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).
Most days, my words are like stale popcorn in a striped paper bag.
If you feel the same, don’t lose heart, beloved. Here’s what else she’s dishing out.
…and faithful instruction…
She’s offering what’s known here in Hebrew as torah—“direction, instruction, law.” Not a bunch of rules, but the law of “mercy” (JUB), “kindness” (KJV), and “grace” (GNV).
Now this is something worth talking about.
She’s teaching her family about God’s loyalty, faithfulness, and loving-kindness—that beautiful Hebrew word, hesed. And she’s glorifying God with her words.
As a mother, she surely talks about what’s for dinner and whose turn it is to wash the dishes. But the most important thing she talks about is God’s love.
We can do this. We can.
…is on her tongue.
She’s also not shy about sharing her faith. God’s mercy is always on the tip of her tongue: “I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself” (Psalm 89:2).
For those of us with the gift of gab, this really is good news. We don’t have to stop talking (whew). We just need to weave the truth of God’s love in and through our conversation whenever the Spirit leads.
When we study God’s Word, it shapes our words.
When we seek his mercy, we can speak with mercy.
When we focus on him, we help others see more clearly.
Now it’s your turn
- Who needs to hear a word of grace, mercy, or love from you today?
Bless you for taking a moment to Post a Comment below.
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Now, a wee prayer request: I’ll be posting all this month from Scotland, where I’m leading two all-women tours ’round the land I love. As we go from place to place, please pray we’ll be good ambassadors for the Lord, holding this week’s truth close to our hearts, and this word as well: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:6). Thanks SO much!
Your sister, Liz
God continues to teach my heart about my mouth. I have a prayer wall with many prayers needs, but one continual specific need I pray about is that God will help me speak of Him in my conversations today. Thank you for your thoughts today. Early morning on Wednesdays I look so forward to spending time with the Lord and seeing how God will use your devotion.
“Words like stale popcorn in a striped paper bag.”
What a great image, and so appropriate for me, who enters every room mouth first. Thanks for a fresh (not stale) emphasis with a Proverb that can seem a little tired from over-use during Mother’s Day season.
Well, Now. Isn’t this a fun one.. 🙂 I am a big talker. Praying for a little more wisdom and a little less chatter today in my words. This morning I was looking at an article about a famous girl who has surely freaked out her famous dad and I cringed. And then I read this and cringed about myself. I wonder how many times I open my mouth my father wants to go.. ” Oh Boy!”
Thanks to God for his grace and patience! Thank you for this gentle reminder and application for today!
Hey chicks, how are you? A happy Mother’s Day to all of you moms! Wow -so, I want to praise my mom. She’s not doing well, so sometimes she’s not very nice, well most of the time;(. But I have decided to love her unconditionally and honor her, and help her to cross the finish line in victory. That would be Jesus arms in heaven. So. I will call my mom and make her smile today, love her til she smiles, and see her finish well.
Thanks..just what I needed to hear this morning. I have been asking for God’s wisdom with an upcoming conversation I must have with my daughter. I want my words to come from God that will speak of His truth and love. Her verbal attacks in the past make this a delicate situation. This verse assures me that by seeking the Lord I will be given words of wisdom that will speak His love, grace and mercy into my daughter’s heart. Already lifted you up in prayer Liz. Wish I could be there too to see it through your eyes.
There is such power in our words. Great look at transforming our gab into edifying words dripping with the love and truth of the Lord. Your encouragement is always just what I need to read, Liz. Thanks!
I’ve often read/heard about this Proverbs 31 woman, but never thought it was a standard I could even attempt. Breaking things down certainly helps! I don’t need to worry about, (well, anything really), getting the whole enchilada together right from the start. The tongue can be a destructive weapon, as James wrote, but wielded for God’s glory and the comfort of those around us, it can be a mighty one. God bless you, Liz, for all you bring to us. Enjoy our beloved Scotland, girl!
Liz–believe it or not in preparing for new carpet and unloading bookcases I have fallen in love with your early books–Help! I’m laughing and Can’t Get Up, etc all over again. My husband had to have a biopsy this morning of a growth in his lung and I’ve been up since 2:30 AM and my husband said he heard me laughing out loud all morning1 Thanks for humor just when i needed it and thanks for your love of our Lord!
Praying for good news from the biopsy!
I have the opposite problem–I’m not a talker. But God’s been showing me that there are times I need to speak up instead of holding my tongue; that speaking the truth in love requires speaking. I want to honor God with my words.
Thank you Liz for sharing God’s insight on this very intimidating subject! I am very outgoing, loud & wordy. A man in our church said once that we would be judged for every word that comes out of our mouth and that he is quiet because of it. I was very conflicted and convicted. I felt like he was talking to me, looking at me! BUT THAT WAS LONG AGO!! God still deals with me on my mouth, but as I have grown in the Lord and through His grace I hope that I have used the gift of gab to reflect my Heavenly Father & His Glorious Son. I fail daily, but God is good all the time!
Thank you, Liz, for sharing God’s wisdom with us. I look forward to Wednesdays because I love to read your blog. I am praying today for God’s wisdom and His help to either hold my tongue or speak HIs truth with my boss. There’s very unfair situation going on where I work and I need God’s wisdom. How blessed we are that we don’t have to know it all. God has already taken care of that. I will pray for your group as you tour Scotland. Oh, how I wish I wa there with you!
My grandmother used to say “What ever you say is out in the air. It’s heard. Even if you “take it back” the damage it may have done can’t be remedied. So watch out what things you say.” How right she was. I have always had a sharp, quick tongue. And I have done a lot of damage in the past with my words. I pray every morning for God to guide my speech and hush my mouth from doing harm.
Hello Liz! Thank you for your encouraging words! I talk, talk, talk too much. I need to be quiet more often. My prayers tend to be God, help, I need, please do this. As Beth Moore has said In many of her bible studies, God may be saying to you, “Shut thee up!” Today, I am going to be quieter and listen to His voice. I am going to be more patient with my 12-year-old daughter (hormones are starting – yikes)! I am going to be more loving and give praise to my husband. Enjoy Scotland. I will be praying for you and your groups. I can almost taste the tea and scones with clotted cream; see the beautiful countryside (even though I’ve never been there)! Blessings to you!
I thank God for you Liz…I certainly need help changing my thoughts which become words. Sometimes I wonder, what causes me to speak thoughts that I wished I had kept to myself…still trying not to repeat bad things other people tell me and just pray!
I am very careful with my words. I was almost destroyed by words. I know the power of the tongue and often pray – Lord set a watch over my tongue. Help me only say words that will bring glory to your name. I am confident that everyonee that I run into today needs to be edified. Loved. Encouraged. And forgiven.
My husband needs to hear words of mercy and grace from my lips…..
Praying for you and your ‘ladies’ in Scotland. Our gracious God has certainly cleaned up my mouth (since saving me almost 2 years ago, after 50 years of church membership) and I pray daily for wise, kind, thoughtful words and deeds that only honor and glorify Him. I don’t always stay true to that, but He keeps on loving me, anyway! We serve an awesome God!
This so speaks to my life! I have the gift of gab but end up gossiping and saying things so hurtful and too much talking! I have even prayed for God to take my voice away so I can’t sin and offend again.thanks for the honesty and encouragement! Pray for me to be better for God alone!
Such truths. Thank you, as always. So often it’s so easy to just open thy mouth and speak words without a thought process beforehand. But, I, too, have seen words destroy relationships. And it’s awful. God’s not kidding when he warns us about our lips.
Liz, you are a such a good Ambassador, blessings upon blessings to you. You are so full of life and love, not to mention all the encouragement you give.
As a very young girl my Dad told me the words you speak can’t be taken back and they can hurt. Then I read the book, Words that Heal and words that Hurt. Very valuable lessons that I have tried to live by.
You and our sisters are in my prayers as you travel. I am the quiet one, but I know my words have not always been what God would have liked. I needed to be reminded of this today. We are retired so we both have our interests and go around each other until mealtimes. Your encouragement will remind me to favor my husband with mercy and grace….daily!
Scotland…what a wonderful place to think about speech. It seems like every word, with its achs and brrs, is full of kindness and grace. Godly speaking, though, is
attainable by all, no matter what the accent, because it stems from the heart and blesses everyone in its wake.
This is great Liz. And very timely for me. Thank you for writing the things we don’t always want to hear, but definitely need. You’re the best!
I agree with you Trina. I don’t like what I sometimes hear but I sure need to hear them. And I’ll add, that I need to put these lessons into practice.
May you and your group be blessed by and also a blessing to all you encounter.
OK ladies I may have said this before but in my family, the women have a strange affliction. We lack a shutoff valve between brain and tongue. If we are thinking about God and godly things, that’s a great thing. Let the words flow! However, that’s generally not the case and wow does it create problems. I’ve been praying for some time about this and when I was younger, I asked Him for a shutoff. I’ve recently revised this to a better request. Lord, please let me keep my focus and my thoughts on You so I don’t need a shutoff in the first place. As for a word of grace, love, and mercy, I think we all need it everyday so , no matter how desperately I need it, I try to always give it to others.
Thank you so much for your encouragement on the subject of speech, Liz, it’s something I’ve been pondering (in an “oops” sort of way) recently. Bless you for being such an encouragement!
I’m convicted also Liz! This weekend we were at a dear cousin’s funeral. There were several cousins we hadn’t seen in years. I felt convicted at the time, “Am I just talking and saying stupid things to make people laugh?” I tend to handle grief with humor. Some of us are just wired that way. Anyway at the time I thought maybe the Holy Spirit is telling me to just shut up! So I did. Now I read this verse and realize I was not speaking wisdom. How many times do I just rattle on to fill the silence? I really needed this reminder to stop and think first before I speak.
This was great Liz! I will try to remember the ‘wisdom’ part! I am praying for you and all your fellow travelers as you journey through Scotland. Sooooooooo wish I was with you! Maybe next time! 🙂
I love the Proverbs 31 woman…want to be like her.
My mantra is, don’t tell me if you don’t want my advice.
It seems a sin if you know something which may help and
you choose not to share….that’s unkind.
Bless you and your ladies as you travel….have fun!
Oh my goodness, I feel like I just took a mercy bath. To even imagine being able to glorify God continually through merely speaking and enjoying life-wow. I don’t think it is in my baby book when I spoke my first word, it was probably full sentences upon arrival…lol To be able to have my words be music to God’s ears ,as well as those around us, is incentive to choose our words wisely as well as being well versed in scripture. Loved this post, and thank you for the lift!
Hi Liz! Where in Scotland are you? I’m in Glasgow and would love to hear you speak.
Kind regards, Brenda.
Hi, Brenda! I’m in Glasgow now through Tuesday, but am not speaking…just finishing one tour and starting another. :>)
Thanks for asking, and God bless!
This is the kind of question I end up pondering throughout my day. The quick answer is, who doesn’t? But this proverb inspires me to actively look at those around me, and intentionally think about what I want to say before I say it.
Liz shared: “When our Proverbs 31 sister speaks, “her mouth is full” (CEB). She offers something worth hearing. People gladly listen, knowing her words will be “like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11). Most days, my words are like stale popcorn in a striped paper bag.”
I would be fibbing if I said I didn’t often feel like that too. The “she” in this verse is pretty intimidating and sets a pretty high standard. But I’m encouraged by another scripture that says, “What you say flows from what is in your heart” (Luke 6:45, NLT). Taking verses like this one to heart and making them part of my internal dialogue is the first step to building that treasury from which my words can flow. Because really, who doesn’t need to hear a good word today?