by Cathy Corle
Proverbs 10:19 – In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.
Another true fact about the wisdom of words is that sometimes the wisest thing to say is nothing at all.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” I can recall a few instances in which I wished I had followed his advice! Blessed is she who knows when and how to be quiet.
In Proverbs 31 a small phrase is found tucked into verse 26 which says, …and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
Let us make some observations about the meaning of a law.
First of all, when there is a law, a standard is set by which to make judgments. If a road has no signs that determine safe speed, then one person might decide it should be 25 miles per hour and another might decide on 50 miles per hour. However, if there is a clear sign posted that says 40 miles per hour, then everyone can regulate his speed according to that standard.
When a lady will allow kindness to be her standard, her speech will be regulated accordingly. When something is said that is unkind, it will be immediately identified as unacceptable to God because it fails to meet the godly standard by which it is measured.
A law also indicates control or rulership. Paul said in Romans 7 that the law of sin was in his body. He describes throughout the chapter the hold that sin can have. It controlled his inclinations and responses to a very great extent. It caused his instinctive desires to be evil.
If the law of kindness is in effect upon people’s tongues, then it will control their immediate responses and inclinations to a high degree.
The natural response to most every situation will be a kind one. They will search out the kindest way in which to say the things that must be said that could otherwise sound harsh or hurtful. So many of us are ruled by our own selfish interests in areas where our tongues are concerned. The speech of the virtuous woman is regulated constantly by the law of kindness.
A law also determines guilt or innocence. Someone who is driving the speed limit will not be disturbed at the sight of a highway patrol car; furthermore, he may not seem to notice at all. However, someone who is driving 10 to 15 miles per hour over the posted speed limit will be jumping on the brakes at the sight of every car that is white or has a luggage rack on top! The law says that they are guilty, and they know it.
The law of kindness in effect upon our speech will bring that uneasy, uncomfortable feeling of guilt when we have said something that is not kind.
The law of kindness will drive us to make apologies or restitution, not just for the satisfaction of the other person, but for our own peace of heart.
Is the law of kindness in effect in our lives as Christian ladies? Does kindness set the standard for what we allow ourselves to say, or do we find that our words are often scathing and sharp? Does it control our responses and conversations, or do we find that our automatic reactions in most situations are less than loving?
Does the law of kindness point out unsatisfactory statements and cause us to apologize and try to do better, or do we reckon ourselves to be justified in our unkind remarks? For ladies who seek to please the Lord, this is a vital area in which we can learn and improve.
I constantly find that I need to pray as David did in Psalm 141:3, Set a watch, 0 LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. If I allow the LORD to be the Watchman and Doorkeeper Who approves everything which passes the door of my lips and warns of the dangerous words which may try to slip through them, I will someday be able to meet the Lord with a conscience void of offense. I will worry much less about the fact that I must someday give account to Him for every idle word. Resolve with me today that we will begin anew to set God’s standard of kindness, truth, and Christ-like living. Let us examine every statement that passes our lips and be willing to let our conversations be adjusted in order to please the Lord.