as long my life remains in me and God’s breath is in my nostrils, my lips will not speak unrighteousness, or my tongue utter deceit. – Job 27:3-4 (CJB)
Bildad the Shuhite had chastised Job over his calamity and told him harshly that God punished Job for his sins through the loss of his family and wealth. Job patiently listened through all of the barrages of slander and condescension only to turn and rebuke his “friends” for their “Godly” counsel. He finally told them in so many words, “I’m a man of integrity, and as long as I’m alive, I will not speak negative things about or to anyone.”
Often times in my writings, I’ve gone on for paragraphs sharing what God has downloaded into my spirit about what to learn from the day’s reading. Today will be different. Elsewhere in the Bible we are told that there is power of life and death in the tongue. We can either align our words with God’s thereby extending life, or our words can be misaligned with God’s word whereby we bring death. Job faced opposition from his so-called friends, who had come to comfort him. Instead, they pounded on him like a religious hammer and blamed his situation on him. He could have gone off and lashed back at them, but he chose to withhold his comments and not berate them like they did him. We could all learn a lesson from Job – be a person of integrity and don’t let your tongue write checks that your soul can’t cash. Likewise, the apostle James wrote that the one who can bridle the tongue is a perfect person. Well, I might not be able to bridle my tongue completely and am ere go not perfect, but I can ask God to help me to keep my mouth/words in check and not speak things I shouldn’t. Let’s use our words to encourage, equip, and edify others not tear down and destroy, which is what the enemy does.
Father, thank you for opening my eyes to the response Job gave to Bildad. He could have gone and just lashed back at him for the verbal beating he received from Bildad. However, Job showed the wisdom of restraint and chose to acknowledge you in the situation and refrained from stooping to the level his “friends” had. Job taught me today the value of a controlled tongue and the value of showing grace to others. I ask you to teach me how to best bridle my unruly tongue. Help me to have speech seasoned with salt and filled with grace, as Paul wrote. I rely upon you, Holy Spirit, to lead me and guide me in this refinement process of not speaking anything that doesn’t align itself with the Word of God. I love you, Father, Brother, and Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.