We are currently on the first part of 1 Timothy 4:12, which says(NKJV), "Let no one dispise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word,". I left off with the other devotional by saying that we must not partake in idle conversations. This is so very important, ladies! As we saw in Proverbs 31:26, this woman "opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness." She ensures that every single word which escapes her mouth is glorifying to God. During all of her conversations, she is saying things that would minister to others and glorify God. She is not involved with gossip, slander, etc. Neither is she involved in what my pastor, Mr. Steven Morse, calls idle conversations. This means that she does not waste time talking about things which don't mean anything and will not last. Rather, she spends her time speaking about the Word, giving her testimony, encouraging others to stand up for Christ, teaching other ladies what the Bible truly says, strengthening others in their walk with Christ, and telling others what the Lord has been doing in her life and teaching her. This is what it means by "She opens her mouth with wisdom". She takes every spare moment and used it as a witnessing tool, so that she may fulfill the commands found in Matthew 28:19-20a, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;" and 2 Timothy 4:2, "Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, will all longsuffering and teaching." (Please don't misunderstand what I'm saying here, and think that I am saying that women should be preachers, because clearly, we find in Scripture that that is unbiblical. I'm simply saying that in conversations, and when teaching other women [Titus 2:4-5], we are to speak with wisdom. :))
The second part of Proverbs 31:26 says that "on her tongue is the law of kindness." This is so important, and we so often speak without the kindness that should be evident in our words. First, I want to begin by saying that I want you to please notice that this comes directly after "She speaks with wisdom,". This means that when she is "convincing, rebuking, and exhorting (2 Timothy 4:2) others, she is doing so with kindness. She is showing them what the Bible truly says, but she is not being rude and judgemental while doing so. She is rather "speaking the truth in love." We must also remember to speak with kindness when we are addressing our siblings and the other members of our family. Even though it should not be so, often the ones we love the most are the ones we hurt the most. As James 3:8 says, the tongue "is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." We so often find ourselves speaking in a manner that is anything but kind. We always must check ourselves to see whether or not the tone of voice we use/our manner of speaking is kind. The tone of voice we use is almost as important as the words we say at times. Speaking in a loud, angry, rude or obnoxious tone of voice is anything but kind, and is therefore something that we must avoid doing. Also, we must ensure that the words we speak to those around us throughout the day are kind and loving, as a Christian's words ought to be. In James 3:8-10(NKJV) we read, "But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similtude of God. Out of the same mouth mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so." Amen! The words that leave our mouths should always be 1. Glorifying to God and 2.Loving and kind to others. This is something we absolutely must put into practice daily!! As Christians, the things we say must be Christlike!
One last thing I want to address before I close, is that we, as ladies, should act as true ladies and therefore speak in a meek, quite, gentle, ladylike and feminine tone of voice. 1 Peter 3:3-4 says, "Do not let your adornment be merely outward-arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel-rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." We must form a habit of speaking in such a way as this. We are to "be an example to the believers in word," which means that we, as young ladies, must be an example of meek and quiet speaking to the women with whom we come in contact. I'm sure you've heard a lady speak in this manner. It is so beautiful, and you just can't help but love hearing that person speak. My great-grandmother speaks in a very quiet, sweet tone, and I know what a blessing that is to those whom she comes in contact with. I strive to be more and more like her each day, for she has truly been an "example to the believers in word." And may the Lord richly bless her for that!!
Unfortunately, not one unkind thing that we say is able to be taken back. But there is something we can do. If you find that you have spoken an unkind word to someone, or have used an unkind tone of voice, go to that person and ask forgiveness. This is what all Christians are called on to do when they wrong someone, and it causes humility to be developed in us, which the Lord truly loves. After you have asked for that person's forgiveness, go to your Father Who is in Heaven, and ask His forgiveness as well. 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." What blessed assurance! Be sure to also ask the Lord for the strength to do better next time, so that you may be an example to the believers in your words!
Many blessings to all you dear ladies!
Part 3 of this devotional study on 1 Timothy 4:12 will be continued on Friday, on my blog, with a devotional on us being an example to the believers in conduct. Please be sure to come back then!! :)