Thursday, July 24, 2014

Gracious speech

 Those who love a pure heart and are gracious in speech will have the king as a friend. Proverbs 22: 11

This proverb seems to suggest that a pure heart and a gracious manner or speech will reap the reward of having the king as a friend. However, there is another perspective to this teaching that we should consider carefully. Having the king (or an influential person or government official) as a friend suggest service to the government or to the public. This idea is demonstrated in the life of Joseph (Genesis 41:14-40), Daniel (Daniel 2:17-49), and Nehemiah (Nehemiah 2). These men were men of prayer who allowed God to speak through their actions and words in order to influence pharaohs and kings. In each of these stories, the pharaoh or king trusted a God-fearing man to speak the truth in grace.

Our greatest example is Jesus, whose gracious words and pure heart earned followers from all stations of life, including Pharisees such as Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimatheaus, who were highly respected Israelites. God uses our connections with influential people at work and in the public to accomplish His will on a larger scale. Gracious speech and pure heart are skill sets that we should demonstrate in every aspect of our lives. Through gracious speech, we are enabling God's grace to be broadcast into many lives.