Daily Update #276

Pause & Reflect
Throughout our lives we hear phrases and sayings that guide us on the right path, that hold a sort of universal truth or meaning. I am sure we have all heard ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’, ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ or ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’, but in this fastpaced ever changing digital world, do these stand up to the test? With fake news and misinformation prevalent, how do we know what is true, what is genuine, and what to hold on to?

Read – Ecclesiastes 10; 12-15

12 Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious,
 but fools are consumed by their own lips.
13 At the beginning their words are folly;    
at the end they are wicked madness
14  and fools multiply words. No one knows what is coming
who can tell someone else what will happen after them?
15 The toil of fools wearies them;  
 they do not know the way to town.

Consider Throughout this chapter we see a series of verses that give some guidance and wisdom for living in an unpredictable world, with a contrast given between the ways of the wise and the ways of the foolish. We all know that the words we hear can both hurt us and build us up, and the same is true of the words we say… our words can be both hurtful and helpful. This passage highlights that wisdom and grace go together. As Christians, and indeed as reasonable people, we should be pursuing wisdom and grace in all we do and in all we say. The alternative to this, as this passage teaches us, leads us down a path of foolishness. This could take the form of speaking with certainty when we are less than certain, or stating fact when there is no basis for it. This behaviour can be both damaging and hurtful to the receiver, and can lead the speaker to a place of wickedness, madness, or even worse. Foolish words will get in the way of what God wants us to do. They get in the way of God’s plan for our lives. They push us to live in a way that is contrary to God’s word.

With so many people communicating with us and with so many sources of news, information and media in our faces, we need to keep our hearts and minds focused on what is true, on what is important, and what is wise. We need to test what we hear, pray about what we learn and check out what we don’t understand. We also need to focus on our own beliefs and understanding. We need to use our words and actions wisely in all that we do. The Bible is a rock-steady place to seek wisdom, and answers come from prayer. The challenge for us today is to base what we hear, what we say, and how we act in God’s truth, through the Bible, through prayer and through genuine wisdom.

We will end with words from Joel Dorman ‘Trust the wisdom coming from God. Trust the words flowing from those who spend time with God. Because the words of the wise will give you life while the words of the fools will only get you lost.’

Lord, guide us in what is wise. Help us to question foolishness and to act with wisdom, grace and love. Show us how we can change, where we can grow. Thank you for the true and genuine gifts you have given us, help us to use them to honour you in all we do