LESSON 7: WISDOM CONTROLS THE TONGUE
Sitting in a small Indian village in Brazil with a half dozen other men under a thatched roof shelter, I couldn’t believe my good fortune. We were about to have the opportunity to hear from an Indian pastor with more than forty years of experience preaching the gospel in some of the most remote parts of Brazil, in tribal communities where a white man like me would never be allowed to set foot. His grandfather had been one of the first of their tribe to come to faith in Jesus. This man had stories to tell and I was anxious to hear them. Unfortunately, a younger, less experienced brother that we had brought with us from the city, thought that this was his opportunity to “one up” the pastor by sharing secondhand missionary stories he had heard at a missions conference! It was all I could do to guard my own tongue to keep from telling him to just shut it. How foolish he was making himself look. What an education he was missing out on, but he continued undeterred. My embarrassment for him made me squirm in my seat. Lesson number one: the wise listen and add to their learning. You know what you know. Repeating it out loud simply to have something to say or to attempt to impress others is the height of foolishness and adds nothing to your understanding.
Sadly the tongue can do even more harm than just to stifle our learning. It can cut down those we love, destroy relationships, cause division, foolishly commit us to an unwise course, and heap dishonor on ourselves, our family, and the people of God. I could go on. James says, “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire.” This same tongue we use to sing praises, to pray, to profess our love for others, and preach the gospel, is a dangerous piece of equipment to ourselves and those around us, if not kept in check by the Holy Spirit.
So the next time you are at a dinner party make it your goal to listen and add to your wisdom. And when you do speak you “should do so as one who speaks the very words of God” (1 Peter 4:11). Words that build others up and bless our Father in heaven.
BIG IDEA: Wisdom listens more than it speaks.
MEDITATING ON THE WORD:
Proverbs 10:19, 12:15, 17:27, 19:20, 29:20
Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. – Proverbs 2:9-10
People who are careful about what they say will save their lives, but those who speak without thinking will be destroyed. – Proverbs 13:3
- Read Proverbs 13:1-3 out loud and discuss, verse by verse. Repeat with James 3:1-11.
- Have you ever said something you wish you hadn’t?
- How can we guard our mouths? How?
- Why is it better to listen than it is to speak?
- How can you apply what you learned in Quest this week?
– – –
ABOUT FAMILY QUEST: At Reston Bible Church, we firmly believe that parents are a child’s first and most important spiritual leader. In order to support you that mission, we have created a parent devotional and some discussion starters to go along with each lesson your grade school age children are learning at Quest on Sundays. Our hope and prayer is that this material will help you to engage with your children around the topics they are learning on Sunday mornings, answer their questions, go deeper with them, and find real, day-to-day applications. We are honored to be able to partner with you in the critical task of sharing Christ with the next generation.