Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by Pastor Charles Choe (Tapestry Church in Los Angeles), was originally posted on December 1, 2014.
Devotional Thought for Today
“The Wiser Way: Keeping a Lid on It”
“He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.”
Talking has never been difficult for me. In just about any conversation, I would look for airtime or attention from others. I would be listening, but largely with the intent to angle for an opening, to find an opportunity to speak, to show off how much I know or how funny I can be. Thank goodness it’s been a few moons since then and I have grown somewhat in this area.
In the book of Proverbs, Solomon in all his wisdom, chooses to come back to the mouth, lips, and tongue. Solomon teaches us that guarding our lips is guarding our very life. The man who speaks with no restraint shows no wisdom. Words are powerful and they are to be used selectively.
When you consider your own life and personality, could you honestly say you value silence and restraint? Or are you quick to quip about whatever enters your mind? We live in a culture where the one who gets his point across the clearest and most convincingly is considered the winner. As Christians, we are called to be subversive by not following the patterns of this world. The Bible insists that there is more power in listening than in speaking.
Part of the reason we are impatient to speak is because part of us believes that we have all the answers. We have a tendency to fix things, usually with good intentions, but sometimes we just need to keep our lips together and listen. By listening longer and weighing the opinions a bit more, we are communicating that we do not know it all or have everything figured out.
Consider this when a brother stumbles and falls. We are so quick to tell others of the law, but how often do we portray the Gospel? How often do we show the love of Christ? We have to trust that, in your listening, the Holy Spirit is working and is going to show them God’s heart. If you are trying to speak just to make your point, you will miss that quiet voice of the Spirit. There is nothing wrong with saying nothing and speaking another day after considering the matter. You don’t have to win every discussion.
Prayer: Lord, help me to listen. In listening more, may Your Holy Spirit speak more to me. Guide me through every conversation and discussion today for Your glory.
Bible Reading for Today: Acts 1
Lunch Break Study
Read Matthew 18:15-20: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.  But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.  If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.  Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
Questions to Consider
- What is the reason why you would bring two or three witnesses is to help a brother who is sin?
- Why is it important to disengage with people who are unable to listen to correction?
- One of the things that plagues most Christian communities is the inability to handle confrontation, disagreement and our mutual accountability when it comes to sin. How well do you do this in area?
- To listen better and to repent of sin.
- They dilute and misrepresent God’s holiness and such standard can spread like yeast to the body of Christ.
- Respecting leaders is a matter of the heart. We often get hurt when they admonish, but we must learn to be admonished from out leaders.
A final food for thought. We have two ears and one mouth. Does that tell us something about the ratio in which they should be used?