Friday, February 1, 2013

Proverbs 10:11-15 "Bless you!"

In this segment of Proverbs 10, the focus seems to be on the mouth and what comes out of it. Our mouths can be used to abundantly bless others or to devastate. We can choose to use them to encourage and lift up others, or we can bring ruin to those around us either by directly putting them down or through gossip.

The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,

    but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.   

Hatred stirs up dissension,

    but love covers over all wrongs.   

Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning,

    but a rod is for the back of him who lacks judgment.   

Wise men store up knowledge,

    but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.   

The wealth of the rich is their fortified city,

    but poverty is the ruin of the poor. (Proverbs 10:11-15)

The righteous man is the one who uses his words to lift up others. His words are designed to bless and encourage. As a teacher, I know that my words have power. They can have a lasting impact both positively and negatively. I wish that I could say I only use my words to encourage! But there are many times when a rebuke slips out and I know I have discouraged a child. { But, hey! How many times can you find a positive way to spin it when the child shows up for the umpteenth time with no homework done? Aaughh!! } The LORD usually brings me up short and immediately reminds me that I will need to undo that one crushing word with LOTS of positives!!!

On the other hand, I also can clearly see that when I tell one of my students how much I love having him in my classroom, I get a physical reaction as he smiles broadly and soaks in the blessing! I try to stand at my door each morning and greet each child as he/she walks in. After about the fifth student walks by without any reaction whatsoever, I’ll say, “Good morning, Mrs. White, and how are you today???” I have one boy this year who is painfully shy and quiet. He rarely smiles. But one morning recently, he smiled up at me as he entered, and before I could greet him, he said, “Good morning, Mrs. White!” So, I pulled him aside and told him he had blessed my day. Now, every morning I get that wonderful greeting - and the smile to boot!

The key verse to this topic is verse 12, “Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers all wrongs.” Dissension and gossip spring from hatred and a heart that is insecure. They leave devastation wherever they are found! But love finds a way to cover up wrong. Jesus covered our sins with his blood. Isn’t that truly the gospel in a nutshell? In fact, “love covers over all wrongs” pretty much sums up the entire Bible! Because our own sins have been covered we need to also cover the sins of others (even homework that is undone) with love.

May we use our words to bless! And may we cover sin, rather than expose it, with our mouths.  

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