July 10, 2010

Worthy Words

Written by Boyd Bailey

“Therefore this is what the Lord says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them.” Jeremiah 15:19

Persuasive people can pour on the words. Like an aggressive avalanche of ice and snow, they bury you with spectacular speech. So be careful with persuasive people. They can talk themselves and others into just about anything. However, their words become worthless when their behavior does not back up their promises.

Certainly everyone struggles with promising more than they can deliver; but a pattern of broken promises is suspect, and needs accountability. Words become worthless when they are not backed up by noble character. Worthy words may be few, but that’s okay if they get results.

It is much better to engage with someone who promises little but delivers much—someone whose actions far exceed your expectations. That person is wise to manage expectations well. However, avoid people who talk a lot and do little. And don’t be one of them yourself. You do not have to impress people with persuasive speech that is void of substance. Serve them instead, and let your words become a bonus.

Make it your goal to value others more than they value you. Worthy words extend sincere and meaningful compliments for the inspiration of the individual. Worthless words praise others with the goal of getting them to act a certain way. Worthless words ring hollow and do more harm than good.

Therefore, be a person who dispenses worthy words of wisdom. If you have a persuasive personality, be careful. It may be easy to place yourself before others. You will be tempted to manipulate others for your own needs instead of serving them at their point of need. Be very cautious how you use Christ’s name to validate your decisions. Indiscreetly tossing around phrases like, “The Lord said,” or “The Lord told me,” is treading on the turf of worthless words. Make sure your motive doesn’t degrade into using “Godspeak” to get your way. These are the worst kind of worthless words.

Check your speech often. Do an audit of the tone and timing of your truth-telling. Words can become worthless, even when they represent truth. People will not receive your words if they cannot overcome the way you give your words. Be patient, particularly if you are a discerning person. You have the ability to quickly size up people and situations. But just because you immediately see it, does not mean it’s the right time to say it.

Indeed, be wise to communicate your insights with a gracious tone at a time of high receptivity. Anger is not the best environment to extend new insights. “I told you so,” is not an attitude conducive to rapport; it doesn’t invite your instruction. Look for teachable and tension-free moments in which to share truth. Be prayerful with your words. Repent of judgmental gestures and ungracious goads.
Let Jesus lead you in what to say and how to say it. Those will be worthy words. Those are words the Lord will use to carry out His will. God persuades people through prayerfully placed words.

Taken from the July 11th reading from Boyd Bailey’s Seeking Daily the Heart of God . This 365 day devotional book is a compilation of the reader’s favorites from the daily email devotional “Wisdom Hunters”. Andy Stanley says, “I have walked with Boyd for over 20 years and I am definitely wiser for it. You are going to love this book!”

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