I. Prayer to enter the Lord’s presence:
Be still for a moment. “Lord, I give the day that is now past to you. It is yours. I give the day that is to come to you; help me to see where you are working and to join you there. Speak to me during these moments. I commit them and myself to you.”
II. Prayer of Confession:
“Lord, you are faithful to forgive me and cleanse me of my sin when I confess it to you. I confess my sin(s) of ______________. Thank you for forgiveness.” (1 John 1:9)
III. Prayer of Thanksgiving:
Choose to be thankful, speak out loud of what God has done.
“Thank you, Father, for _________________. Fill my heart and my mouth with gratitude throughout this day.”
IV. Scripture Reflection
Read: Proverbs Chapter 10
13 Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning,
but a rod is for the back of the one who lacks sense.
Have you ever just spouted off without really thinking through what you’re saying? I have! And many times, it’s come back to bite me. One thing’s for sure: I definitely didn’t show discretion. I actually did this very thing this morning.
As Patty and I were preparing to leave the house, I noticed a stack of papers sitting on some books. I knew I didn’t put those papers there. I immediately became frustrated because it looked cluttered, and I don’t like clutter. So, without thinking and with a stern voice, I said to Patty, “I don’t want those papers left there because it looks cluttered, and I don’t want it to become another rathole place!”
Well, as you can imagine, that wasn’t received very well! The papers were actually important documents Patty had gathered so she could get her driver’s license renewed. She wasn’t planning on leaving them there; in fact, she had just temporarily sat them there. But rather than stop, I doubled down in my foolishness! (I know, stupid is as stupid does.)
Well, you can probably guess how it went from there—yeah, not well. In a real sense, you could say, “I had a rod come down across my back”—and rightly so, for at that moment I acted foolishly. How much better it would have been had I acted with some discernment!
Now I know this is a very trivial example, but I think it really does illustrate our need for discernment when it comes to the words we use. Listen, if we can do this with little things like a stack of papers, we absolutely can act without discernment when it comes to more significant decisions and tougher topics. That thought should sober us up! No, a wise person doesn’t just spout off. They exercise discretion and use words that strengthen and encourage others.
Now you might be thinking, “Yeah, I hear you, Jim. But how do you use words that strengthen and encourage someone when they repeatedly do things that frustrate, annoy, or anger you?”
Well, I think a good place to start is by remembering all that Christ has done for us despite our failings. Doing this allows us to offer our bodies as a sacrifice to God, a sacrifice that is holy and pleasing to God, a sacrifice that genuinely worships Him. Thinking like this is counter to the world, but when we do it, we renew our minds and can discern what is good, pleasing, and perfect in God’s mind. (See Romans 12:1)
Determine now to choose your words well today. Make the conscious effort to honor Christ in all that you do.
V. Prayer for others:
Pray specifically for the concerns of your life and the lives of others.
VI. Prayer of commitment:
“Lord God, I commit to love you with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my strength and with all my mind and to love my neighbor as myself. Empower me today to love you and others with everything that I am.” (Luke 10:27)
This Week’s Scripture Memory:
Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.