June 4, 2017

Test Words

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 4, 2017

For the ear tests words as the tongue tastes food. Let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good.     Job 34:3-4

Words are to be filtered, and your first filters are your ears. If words travel unfiltered through your ears they can clutter and confuse your mind. Mixed messages to the mind are confusing and disconcerting. This is why words must be tested, as the tongue tastes food. Some words are bad for your mental health, while others invigorate and energize your thinking. This is why discernment is required with your verbal intake. If you process and apply everything you hear, you will become confused at best and experience calamity at worst. Your ears are meant to be a checkpoint for truth. If lies attempt to enter by the orifice of your ears, you need to arrest them with your good sense and send them on their way.

The “wheat and the weeds” (Matthew 13:29-30) need to be separated once they are harvested by your ears. Wise ears exhibit keen insight and judgment because ears without discernment are like those who eat everything at a smorgasbord—the fried and the fresh. Eventually, the unhealthy takes its toll, and the intake of unsanitary words produces an ill-fit mind. Your mind is a product of what comes through your ears and eyes. Ears need as much coaching and accountability as eyes.

Train your ears to value the eternal over the temporal. Educate your ears to reject lies and invite truth. If you have been told that you are no good or that you are washed up, then a bearer of bad counsel has assaulted you. In Christ you are good; in Him, there is always hope and potential. So discern the danger of those words and avoid them. Do not allow them into your thinking, lest you become mentally estranged from the eternal.

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3).

God made your two ears for testing. Therefore, digest His words often through the ears of your heart. Let God speak to you through prayer and reflection. His words are an effective filter for the words of others. Someone may tell you to trade your reputation for a short-term gain, but you have already heard God and wise people warn you to flee from this promise of fame. There is no need to ponder pretentious phrases.

Discerning ears automatically drop kick diseased words away from entering the playing field of your mind. Do not nurse or coddle sick words, for they will only infect you with their adverse effects. Vile and wicked words are normally packaged by hurt and delivered with anger, so dismiss the words of the angry. They are unproductive and hurtful because words spewed in anger are quickly regretted and deeply damaging.

Moreover, watch for the subtle words that suggest submission to something or someone other than God. Those are the words that tend to look good on the surface but come back to bite you with their hidden agenda. Take the time to test these attractive words. If someone says he wants to help you, it is prudent to wait and get to know his intentions. The words of the wise can be received promptly and embraced wholeheartedly.

However, the words of fools need not make it past your ear lobes. If their foolish pronouncements slip into one ear, send them out the other just as quickly. Post the two sentinels of good sense and discernment at the entrance of your ears. Receive into your mind the best and the brightest in wise thinking. Reject the rest. It is incredibly wise to test every wooing word with the wisdom of God. Let the intake of your words feed right thinking. Listen only to words that pass God’s grade “A” standards.

“Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear” (Luke 8:8).



Heavenly Father, give me discerning ears to separate truth from lies.


What has been said about me that my identity in Christ refutes and restores me?

Related Reading

Genesis 42:16; Deuteronomy 13:3; Proverbs 23:12; Isaiah 30:21 Today’s reading is taken from Boyd’s most popular book: Seeking Daily the Heart of God, a 365 day devotional.

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